A burned out home, crime scene tape, teddy bears, and candles reveal a horrific crime: a mother and her three children found burned to death in the same house. Investigators are calling it a murder.
And for the first responders who found the remains, the tough memories can last a lifetime.
It’s why Rockford Fire has a peer to peer counseling program.
“Peer to peer is a firefighter development program for firefighters,” said Lieutenant James Graham from the Rockford Fire Department. “It deals with firefighters and the stresses of the job and it gives them the opportunity to talk to one of their peers who actually knows some of the things they may be going through.”
One person who has learned about the pain of post-traumatic stress disorder is Brad Lindmark.
“Suicide is a huge problem among first responders,” said Lindmark. “I believe in the United States, today, one suicide every two and a half days in the United States alone happens to a first responder.”
His brother Greg Lindmark took his own life after serving for years on the Rockford Police Department.
He started the Greg Lindmark Foundation to offer help and hope.
“Our officers go through enough every day,” said Brad Lindmark. “The first responders, the dispatchers that take the calls, they all see and hear so many bad things that it’s just become so important to us as a foundation to help all first responders.”
And remember that tragedy and death can never be just a part of the job.
“Just remember that firefighters are human too,” said Lieutenant James Graham. “We are men and women who come to do a job. It’s an extraordinary job, but we come and we are still human people.”
The Greg Lindmark Foundation is always accepting donations to help all first responders.
You can donate at their website at http://www.greglindmarkfoundation.com/