Monday, June 27

FF Suicides, Remembering Boston

Reposted from
As you read yesterday, Philadelphia Firefighter John "Jack" Slivinski Jr. lost his life to suicide. A beloved Firefighter, he had followed his father into PFD's Rescue 1, but on Saturday, the former Marine was found dead. He was found, reportedly, by his father, Jack Sr, who is still an active Firefighter. Jack Sr also had served in Rescue 1, and the son slept in his old bunk. Word is that they were inseparable. They did everything together.

In 2004, a friend of Slivinski's, Lt. Derrick Harvey, died when he went into a house fire to help Slivinski and another Firefighter. A friend said Slivinski kept a small memorial to Harvey in his home, using Harvey's helmet. Besides his Dad, he is survived by his wife, Carla; his mother, Gerry; and a sister, Jennifer Wysocki.
In our area (greater Cincinnati) we also had a young and very promising Firefighter/Paramedic take his own life last week. The young Firefighter was dealing with some personal issues and, for reasons that perhaps we'll never know, took his own life. He too was "close" to an actual Line of Duty death issue as was FF Slivinski, in Philadelphia.

Suicide is a very real issue in our service-but one we struggle to talk about, reach out about-or certainly even deal with personally. But it is very real. It may be easy to suggest people "suck it up" - but it's not that simple. Whatever the issue is, it is their issue, not ours or yours-but one we can sometimes help with when we sense "something" is wrong. Suicide is pretty subjective, in other words, what may be a "life ending" consideration for some people may be something that you and I may be able to blow off. It all depends on how we each cope with "stuff", the reasons are as different as people are different - but without question, it is an issue in our business.

For example, 4 Phoenix Firefighters took their own lives in a 7 month period:
Here is a USA Today article on rescuer suicide:

HERE is information from the IAFF on SUICIDE: