Firefighter mental health a priority, wildfire service says

By Courtney Dickson& Shelley Joyce
CBC News
May 4, 2024
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Alex Lane’s wildland firefighting career began in May 2015, and on her second day, Lane was called to a large, complex fire. …”I really enjoyed the pace, the demand, the challenge,” she said. But during a slower fire season few years later, her mental health took a turn and she started having panic attacks at work. …Now, the B.C. Wildfire Service and other agencies are working to make sure wildland firefighters have mental health supports ready and available year round. Lane’s experience is not unusual, according to David Greer, B.C. Wildfire Service director of strategic engagement and partnerships. …Greer said the wildfire service is trying to be proactive about staff mental health; in spring 2023, the province launched an online training program for firefighters to help with managing stress and anxiety.

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