Let the Smoke Clear

Let the Smoke Clear Resource to learn about Behavioral Health Problems, Break the Stigma, Signs and Symptoms, Seeking Treatment, Recovery & Peer Support.

Operating as usual

09/29/2020

Reminder to take time for self care. The best way to stay in a good place mentally is to take the time for yourself. Go workout, read a book, take a walk, whatever it is that you like to do to relax and give yourself time to relieve so stress.

Let the Smoke Clear........

Traumatic Incident Stress | NIOSH | CDC
09/22/2020
Traumatic Incident Stress | NIOSH | CDC

Traumatic Incident Stress | NIOSH | CDC

Emergency workers must respond quickly to natural disasters, such as earthquakes or hurricanes, and to manmade disasters, such as technological failures or terrorist attacks. These workers are at risk of experiencing stress from what psychologists refer to as a traumatic incident.

The influence of indirect collective trauma on first responders' alcohol use - PubMed
09/21/2020
The influence of indirect collective trauma on first responders' alcohol use - PubMed

The influence of indirect collective trauma on first responders' alcohol use - PubMed

Previous research has suggested increased risk for negative outcomes such as increased alcohol use among first responders who are involved with the response to a community disaster; however it is not clear how indirect exposure to a critical incident impacts first responders. This work examined the....

Seek the help, find peace, and have the life you deserve.Let the Smoke Clear......
09/20/2020
First Responder Drug and Alcohol Treatment Resources

Seek the help, find peace, and have the life you deserve.

Let the Smoke Clear......

First responders often take care of others, but when it comes to drug or alcohol addiction, sometimes those who serve their communities need the most help.

Great information about First Responders Addiction.Let the Smoke Clear.........
09/19/2020
First Responders Guide: Mental Health and Addiction Needs

Great information about First Responders Addiction.

Let the Smoke Clear.........

The following guide will address the statistics surrounding first responder drug and alcohol abuse rates, and where first responders can turn to for help.

Many first responders use alcohol as a coping mechanism.We need to learn healthier coping skills.Let the Smoke Clear.......
09/18/2020
Addressing the Health Needs of a First Responder | Alcohol.org

Many first responders use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

We need to learn healthier coping skills.

Let the Smoke Clear.......

Discover how up to 15-30% of first responders will develop PTSD and how they may internalize their feelings or attempt to self medicate with alcohol.

The Stigma of Addiction | The Fix
09/17/2020
The Stigma of Addiction | The Fix

The Stigma of Addiction | The Fix

Repeated addiction treatment is prevalent because rehabs do not adequately address each patient's medical and emotional needs.

We rescue perfect strangers, why not rescue our own as well.Let the Smoke Clear.........
09/16/2020

We rescue perfect strangers, why not rescue our own as well.

Let the Smoke Clear.........

You are not alone.Reach out for help.Let the Smoke Clear.......
09/14/2020
First Responders | Suicide Prevention Resource Center

You are not alone.

Reach out for help.

Let the Smoke Clear.......

First responders, including emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and firefighters, can assist individuals in a suicidal crisis, as well as those who may be affected by a suicide death or attempt. First response agencies also have a role to play in assisting their own staff, who may experience....

Many people get confused about the difference between a warmline and a crisis hotline.The article does as good job of ex...
09/13/2020
What's the Difference Between a 'Warmline' and a Suicide Hotline?

Many people get confused about the difference between a warmline and a crisis hotline.

The article does as good job of explaining the difference.

So many opportunities to get help before it becomes a crisis.

Let the Smoke Clear........

"The warmline reduced crisis line calls and psychiatric hospitalizations."

With September being Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month we thought we would share some treatment facility informa...
09/13/2020
harborofgracerecovery.com

With September being Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month we thought we would share some treatment facility information.

http://harborofgracerecovery.com

And an option for IAFF Members

https://www.iaffrecoverycenter.com/

Both facilities have program specifically for First Responders.

Let the Smoke Clear..........

Harbor of Grace Enhanced Recovery Center is proud to provide professional and confidential addiction treatment for various life challenges that may affect the personal well-being of First Responders to include treatment for substance abuse and alcoholism. Our First Responder treatment program includ...

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.Let the Smoke Clear.......
09/12/2020

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.

Let the Smoke Clear.......

Do you see the signs and symptoms in yourself or someone else? Reach out for help.Let the Smoke Clear........
09/12/2020

Do you see the signs and symptoms in yourself or someone else? Reach out for help.

Let the Smoke Clear........

09/11/2020

Gone but never forgotten. Rest In Peace Brothers.

Firefighter Joseph Agnello Ladder 118
Lieutenant Brian Ahearn Engine 230
Firefighter Eric Allen Squad 18
Firefighter Richard Allen Ladder 15
Captain James Amato Squad 1
Firefighter Calixto Anaya Jr. Engine 4
Firefighter Joseph Angelini Rescue 1
Firefighter Joseph Angelini Jr. Ladder 4
Firefighter Faustino Jr. Battalion 9
Firefighter David Arce Engine 33
Firefighter Louis Arena Ladder 5
Firefighter Carl Asaro Battalion 9
Lieutenant Gregg Atlas Engine 10
Firefighter Gerald Atwood Ladder 21
Firefighter Gerald Baptiste Ladder 9
Assistant Chief Gerard Barbara
Firefighter Matthew Barnes Ladder 25
Firefighter Arthur Barry Ladder 15
Lieutenant Steven Bates Engine 235
Lieutenant Carl Bedigian Engine 214
Firefighter Stephen Belson Ladder 24
Firefighter John Bergin Rescue 5
Firefighter Paul Beyer Engine 6
Firefighter Peter Bielfeld Ladder 42
Firefighter Brian Bilcher Squad 1
Firefighter Carl Bini Rescue 5
Firefighter Chris Blackwell Rescue 3
Firefighter Michael Bocchino Battalion 48
Firefighter Frank Bonomo Engine 230
Firefighter Gary Box Squad 1
Firefighter Michael Boyle Engine 33
Firefighter Kevin Bracken Engine 40
Firefighter Michael Brennan Ladder 4
Firefighter Peter Brennan Rescue 4
Captain Daniel Brethel Ladder 24
Captain Patrick Brown Ladder 3
Firefighter Andrew Brunn Ladder 5
Captain Vincent Brunton Ladder 105
Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca
Firefighter Greg Buck Engine 201
Captain William Burke Jr. Engine 21
Assistant Chief Donald Burns
Firefighter John Burnside Ladder 20
Firefighter Thomas Butler Squad 1
Firefighter Patrick Byrne Ladder 101
FF Firefighter George Cain Ladder 7
Firefighter Salvatore Calabro Ladder 101
Captain. Frank Callahan Ladder 35
Firefighter Michael Cammarata Ladder 11
Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro Ladder 101
Firefighter Dennis Carey Haz-mat Co. 1
Firefighter Michael Carlo Engine 230
Firefighter Michael Carroll Ladder 3
Firefighter Peter Carroll Squad 1
Firefighter Thomas Casoria Engine 22
Firefighter Michael Cawley Ladder 136
Firefighter Vernon Cherry Ladder 118
Firefighter Nicholas Chiofalo Engine 235
Firefighter John Chipura Engine 219
Firefighter Michael Clarke Ladder 2
Firefighter Steven Coakley Engine 217
Firefighter Tarel Coleman Squad 252
Firefighter John Collins Ladder 25
Firefighter Robert Cordice Squad 1
Firefighter Ruben Correa Engine 74
Firefighter James Coyle Ladder 3
Firefighter Robert Crawford Battalion 1
Lieutenant John Crisci Haz-Mat Co. 1
Battalion Chief Dennis Cross Battalion 57
Firefighter Thomas Cullen III Squad 41
Firefighter Robert Curatolo Ladder 16
Lieutenant Edward Datri Squad
Firefighter Michael D'Auria Engine 40
Firefighter Scott Davidson Ladder 118
Firefighter Edward Day Ladder 11
Batt Chief Thomas DeAngelis Battalion 8
Firefighter Manuel Delvalle Engine 5
Firefighter Martin DeMeo Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter David DeRubbio Engine 226
Lieutenant Andrew Desperito Engine 1
Battalion Chief Dennis Devlin Battalion 9
Firefighter Gerard Dewan Ladder 3
Firefighter George DiPasquale Ladder 2
Lieutenant Kevin Donnelly Ladder 3
Lieutenant Kevin Dowdell Rescue 4
Batt Chief Raymond Downey Special Ops
Firefighter Gerard Duffy Ladder 21
Captain Martin Egan, Jr. Division 15
Firefighter Michael Elferis Engine 22
Firefighter Francis Esposito Engine 235
Lieutenant Michael Esposito Squad 1
Firefighter Robert Evans Engine 33
Batt Chief John Fanning Haz-Mat Ops
Captain Thomas Farino Engine 26
Firefighter Terrence Farrell Rescue 4
Deputy Chief William Feehan
Firefighter Lee Fehling Engine 235
Firefighter Alan Feinberg Battalion 9
Firefighter Michael Fiore Rescue 5
Captain John Fischer Ladder
Firefighter Andre Fletcher Rescue 5
Firefighter John Florio Engine 214
Lieutenant Michael Fodor Dquad 1
Firefighter Thomas Foley Rescue 3
Firefighter David Fontana Squad 1
Firefighter Robert Foti Ladder 7
Firefighter Andrew Fredericks Sqaud 18
Lieutenant Peter Freund Engine 55
Firefighter Thomas Gambino Jr. Rescue 3
Chief of Dept. Peter Ganci Jr.
Lieutenant Charles Garbarini Battalion 9
Firefighter Thomas Gardner Haz-Mat 1
Firefighter Matthew Garvey Squad 1
Firefighter Bruce Gary Engine 40
Firefighter Gary Geidel Rescue 1
Batt Chief Edward Geraghty Battalion 9
Firefighter Dennis Germain Ladder 2
Lieutenant Vincent Giammona Ladder 5
Firefighter James Giberson Ladder 35
Firefighter Ronnie Gies Squad 288
Firefighter Paul Gill Engine 54
Lieutenant John Ginley Engine 40
Firefighter Jeffrey Giordano Ladder 3
Firefighter John Giordano Engine 37
Firefighter Keith Glascoe Ladder 21
Firefighter James Gray Ladder 20
Batt Chief Joseph Grzelak Battalion 48
Firefighter Jose Guadalupe Engine 54
Lieutenant Geoffrey Guja Battalion 43
Lieutenant Joseph Gullickson Ladder 101
Firefighter David Halderman Squad 18
Lieutenant Vincent Halloran Ladder 8
Firefighter Robert Hamilton Squad 41
Firefighter Sean Hanley Ladder 20
Firefighter Thomas Hannafin Ladder 5
Firefighter Dana Hannon Engine 26
Firefighter Daniel Harlin Ladder 2
Lieutenant Harvey Harrell Rescue 5
Lieutenant Stephen Harrell Battalion 7
Batt Chief Thomas Haskell, Jr. Division 15
Firefighter Timothy Haskell Squad 18
Captain Terence Hatton Rescue 1
Firefighter Michael Haub Ladder 4
Firefighter Philp Hayes Engine 217
Lieutenant Michael Healey Squad 41
Firefighter John Hefferman Ladder 11
Firefighter Ronnie Henderson Engine 279
Firefighter Joseph Henry Ladder 21
Firefighter William Henry Rescue 1
Firefighter Thomas Hetzel Ladder 13
Captain Brian Hickey Rescue 4
Lieutenant Timothy Higgins Special Ops
Firefighter Jonathan Hohmann Haz-Mat 1
Firefighter Thomas Holohan Engine 6
Firefighter Joseph Hunter Squad 288
Captain Walter Hynes Ladder 13
Firefighter Jonathan Ielpi Squad 288
Captain Frederick Ill Jr. Ladder 2
Firefighter William Johnston Engine 6
Firefighter Andrew Jordan ladder 132
Firefighter Karl Joseph Engine 207
Lieutenant Anthony Jovic Battalion 47
Firefighter Angel Juarbe Jr. Ladder 12
Chaplain Mychal Judge
Firefighter Vincent Kane Engine 22
Batt Chief Charles Kasper SOC Battalion
Firefighter Paul Keating Ladder 5
Firefighter Richard Kelly Jr. Ladder 11
Firefighter Thomas Kelly Ladder 15
Firefighter Thomas Kelly Ladder 105
Firefighter Thomas Kennedy Ladder 101
Lieutenant Ronald Kerwin Squad 288
Firefighter Michael Kiefer Ladder 132
Firefighter Robert King Jr. Engine 33
Firefighter Scott Kopytko Ladder 15
Firefighter William Krukowski Ladder 21
Firefighter Kenneth Kumpel Ladder 25
Firefighter Thomas Kuveikis Squad 252
Firefighter David LaForge Ladder 20
Firefighter William Lake Rescue 2
Firefighter Robert Lane Engine 55
Firefighter Peter Langone Squad 252
Firefighter Scott Larsen Ladder 15
Lieutenant Joseph Leavey Ladder 15
Firefighter Neil Leavy Engine 217
Firefighter Daniel Libretti Rescue 2
Paramedic Carlos Lillo Battalion 49
Firefighter Robert Linnane ladder 20
Firefighter Michael Lynch Engine 40
Firefighter Michael Lynch Ladder 4
Firefighter Michael Lyons Squad 41
Firefighter Patrick Lyons Squad 252
Firefighter Joseph Maffeo Ladder 101
Firefighter William Mahoney Rescue 4
Firefighter Joseph Maloney Ladder 3
Batt Chief Joseph Marchbanks Jr.
Lieutenant Charles Margiotta Battalion 22
Firefighter Kenneth Marino Rescue 1
Firefighter John Marshall Ladder 27
Lieutenant Peter Martin Rescue 2
Lieutenant Paul Martini Engine 201
Firefighter Joseph Mascali Tac Support 2
Firefighter Keithroy Maynard Engine 33
Firefighter Brian McAleese Engine 226
Firefighter John McAvoy Ladder 3
Firefighter Thomas McCann Battalion 8
Lieutenant William McGinn Squad 18
Batt Chief William McGovern Battalion 2
Firefighter Dennis McHugh Ladder 13
Firefighter Robert McMahon Ladder 20
Firefighter Robert McPadden Engine 23
Firefighter Terence McShane Ladder 101
Firefighter Timothy McSweeney Ladder 3
Firefighter Martin McWilliams Engine 22
Firefighter Ray Meisenheimer Rescue 3
Firefighter Charles Mendez Ladder 7
Firefighter Steve Mercado Engine 40
Firefighter Douglas Miller Rescue 5
Firefighter Henry Miller Jr. Ladder 105
Firefighter Robert Minara Ladder 25
Firefighter Thomas Mingione Ladder 132
Lieutenant Paul Mitchell Battalion 1
Captain Louis Modafferi Rescue 5
Lieutenant Dennis Mojica Rescue 1
Firefighter Manuel Mojica Squad 18
Firefighter Carl Molinaro Ladder 2
Firefighter Michael Montesi Rescue 1
Captain Thomas Moody Division 1
Battalion Chief John Moran Battalion 49
Firefighter Vincent Morello Ladder 35
Firefighter Christopher Mozzillo Eng 55
Firefighter Richard Muldowney Ladder 7
Firefighter Michael Mullan Ladder 12
Firefighter Dennis Mulligan Ladder 2
Lieutenant Raymond Murphy Ladder 16
Lieutenant Robert Nagel Engine 58
Firefighter John Napolitano Rescue 2
Firefighter Peter Nelson Rescue 4
Firefighter Gerard Nevins Rescue 1
Firefighter Dennis O'Berg Ladder 105
Lieutenant Daniel O'Callaghan Ladder 4
Firefighter Douglas Oelschlager Ladder15
Firefighter Joseph Ogren Ladder 3
Lieutenant Thomas O'Hagan Battalion 4
Firefighter Samuel Oitice Ladder 4
Firefighter Patrick O'Keefe Rescue 1
Captain William O'Keefe Division 15
Firefighter Eric Olsen Ladder 15
Firefighter Jeffery Olsen Engine 10
Firefighter Steven Olson Ladder 3
Firefighter Kevin O'Rourke Rescue 2
Firefighter Michael Otten Ladder 35
Firefighter Jeffery Palazzo Rescue 5
Battalion Chief Orio Palmer Battalion 7
Firefighter Frank Palombo Ladder 105
Firefighter Paul Pansini Engine 10
Battalion Chief John Paolillo Battalion 11
Firefighter James Pappageorge Engine23
Firefighter Robert Parro Engine 8
Firefighter Durrell Pearsall Rescue 4
Lieutenant Glenn Perry Ladder 25
Lieutenant Philip Petti Battalion 7
Lieutenant Kevin Pfeifer Engine 33
Lieutenant Kenneth Phelan Engine 217
Firefighter Christopher Pickford Eng 201
Firefighter Shawn Powell Engine 207
Firefighter Vincent Princiotta Ladder 7
Firefighter Kevin Prior Squad 252
Battalion Chief Richard Prunty Battalion 2
Firefighter Lincoln Quappe Rescue 2
Lieutenant Michael Quilty Ladder 11
Paramedic Ricardo Quinn Battalion 57
Firefighter Leonard Ragaglia Engine 54
Firefighter Michael Ragusa Engine 250
Firefighter Edward Rall Rescue 2
Firefighter Adam Rand Squad 288
Firefighter Donald Regan Rescue 3
Lieutenant Robert Regan Ladder 118
Firefighter Christian Regenhard L131
Firefighter Kevin Reilly Engine 207
Captain Vernon Richard Ladder 7
Firefighter James Riches Rescue 4
Firefighter Joseph Rivelli Jr. Ladder 25
Firefighter Michael Roberts Engine 214
Firefighter Michael Roberts Ladder 35
Firefighter Anthony Rodriguez Eng 279
Firefighter Matthew Rogan Ladder 11
Firefighter Nicholas Rossomando R5
Firefighter Paul Ruback Ladder 25
Firefighter Stephen Russell Engine 55
Lieutenant Michael Russo Special Ops
Battalion Chief Matthew Ryan Battalion 1
Firefighter Thomas Sabella Ladder 13
Firefighter Christopher Santora Eng 54
Firefighter John Santore Ladder 5
Firefighter Gregory Saucedo Ladder 5
Firefighter Dennis Scauso Haz-Mat 1
Firefighter John Schardt Engine 201
Batt Chief Fred Scheffold Battalion 12
Firefighter Thomas Schoales Engine 4
Firefighter Gerard Schrang Rescue 3
Firefighter Gregory Sikorsky Squad 41
Firefighter Stephen Siller Squad 1
Firefighter Stanley Smagala Jr. Eng 226
Firefighter Kevin Smith Haz-Mat Co. 1
Firefighter Leon Smith Jr. Ladder 118
Firefighter Robert Spear Jr. Engine 50
Firefighter Joseph Spor Ladder 38
Batt Chief Lawrence Stack Battalion 50
Captain Timothy Stackpole Division 11
Firefighter Gregory Stajk Ladder 13
Firefighter Jeffery Stark Engine 230
Firefighter Benjamin Suarez Ladder 21
Firefighter Daniel Suhr Engine 216
Lieutenant Christopher Sullivan L111
Firefighter Brian Sweeney Rescue 1
Firefighter Sean Tallon Ladder 10
Firefighter Allan Tarasiewicz Rescue 5
Firefighter Paul Tegtmeier Engine 4
Firefighter John Tierney Ladder 9
Firefighter John Tipping II Ladder 4
Firefighter Hector Tirado Jr. Engine 23
Firefighter Richard VanHine Squad 41
Firefighter Peter Vega Ladder 118
Firefighter Lawrence Veling Engine 235
Firefighter John Vigiano II Ladder 132
Firefighter Sergio Villanueva Ladder 132
Firefighter Lawrence Virgilio Squad 18
Lieutenant Robert Wallace Engine 205
Firefighter Jeffery Walz Ladder 9
Lieutenant Michael Warchola Ladder 5
Captain Patrick Waters Special Ops
Firefighter Kenneth Watson Engine 214
Firefighter Michael Weinberg Engine 1
Firefighter David Weiss Rescue 1
Firefighter Timothy Welty Squad 288
Firefighter Eugene Whelan Engine 230
Firefighter Edward White Engine 230
Firefighter Mark Whitford Engine 23
Lieutenant Glenn Wilkinson Engine 238
Batt Chief John Williamson Battalion 6
Captain David Wooley Ladder 4
Firefighter Raymond York Engine 285

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19824 Westerly Avenue
Poolesville, MD
20837

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About: Let the Smoke Clear

I have been in the Fire Service for over 32 years retiring in 2014 with 24 years with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, due to a cervical spine injury.

I had signs and symptoms over my time in the Fire Service but didn’t understand that Fire Fighters could get PTSD. ( I thought only Combat Soldiers got PTSD) Upon my retirement all of my Behavioral Health Problems came to the forefront. After suffering with many symptoms for several years I finally sought help in June of 2017. I was diagnosed with PTSD, Complicated Grief and Anxiety. I went to the IAFF Center of Excellence for treatment. I spent 27 days inpatient and and 2 weeks in intensive outpatient treatment. I currently go to therapy once a week. (my choice).

Obviously spending more than 30 years in the Fire Service I have the same caregiver personality that all First Responders do and still want to help others. This caregiver personality doesn't just go away when you hang up your turn out gear. I said to myself how can I still serve and help others.

I left the IAFF Center of Excellence in a much better place then when I had gotten their and had found myself and peace again. I understood that so many of my Brothers and Sisters in Montgomery County are suffering just as I was. And of course Fire Fighters everywhere have the same or similar problems. I can serve by helping others by doing my part to Break the Stigma and tell my story to help others see that it is okay to speak up and to get the help they deserve. I just kept and continue to think that we spend our lives saving strangers why don’t we take the time to save ourselves.

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