Do You Ever Feel Like Everything Is Going Up In Flames? Fire fighters, police officers, military, EMS providers, medical personnel and all first responders are under immense pressure and stress, day in and day out. This can lead to incredible challenges both at work and at home. My mission is to put a spotlight on these problems and help find solutions with the Rescue the Rescuer podcast. I want to help shred the shame and highlight strategies that work to alleviate and eliminate common stumbling blocks for First Responders like addiction, PTSD, relationship failure, and more.
Bleeding on Social Media
Join Myself and Kristin Walker, CEO of Mental Health News Radio, as we discuss a very personal and damaging problem that our world is enmeshed in. We are talking about bleeding all over social media with our need to be heard. We discuss the devastating effects of it with very real and personal stories. We then discuss ways to combat this problem You don't want to miss this!!
Empty Your Glass
Join Idao Firefighter/Medic Paul Watkins as we talk about self care and some interesting ideas he has on the subject. A truly great conversation that you won't want to miss!! My name is Paul Watkins I was born in 1976 in Ontario,Oregon. I currently live in Meridian,Idaho a suburb of Boise Idaho. I grew up in New Plymouth Idaho, a small farming community of about 1500 residents.Thats where I started my love for being a first responder. It was a small all volunteer fire dept. I tried starting when I was 17 but for insurance purposes I could not start until I was 18. which is july 6 so needless to say I had to hear the sirens leaving the station for about 2 months after graduating from high school. Getting my pager was the high light of the summer, then the first set of tones go out and I was hooked. So from the day I turned 18 to now I have been a first responder. I was entirely fire until I became an emt in 2007. So I moved to Donnelly,Idaho a small town in valley conty Idaho its about 95 miles from Meridian. I was on the combination department there and and thats where I started to push myself to becoming a paramedic.
The journey to where I am today was not at all easy, am also a journeyman electrician as I am still to this day. My family was and still are alcoholics and that was a way of life, I never partook in the alcoholic lifestyle until I got divorced in 2001. Then it slowly starts to creep in. All my life growing up with divorced parents and living with my father who was an alcoholic I convinced myself I was never going to be an alcoholic.
I started my first resonder career in 1994 and thats the era suck it up butter cup, if the fire is to hot get out, thats the stigma we lived by and most places today are still the same way. That is the most unhealthy way to look at thing. But that was not always my point of view I was that mindset I lived by it Not a good idea. Im advancing through my career, so I decided it was a good idea to try and run an electrical company and work as a fire medic at the same time, I got married a second time and was telling myself i was good I am fine, well that was not true at all. Those words are not allowed at my current station I will explain that on the show.
Stress of the business sets in and the stress and let downs of being a first responder start to set in. I start to drink a beer or so a day knowing I will never be an addict or an alcoholic. a year and a half goes by and I am in the valley county courthouse getting my second divorce, drinking starts to get heavier,but yet again I can handle it for I am fine Im good again lies we tell ourselves. so years go by no big changes except drinking has become my way of letting go,but yet Im not an alcoholic so I tell myself, and no way am I going to ask for help thats a weakness. (another lie). So I decide to just work as an electrican part time and decided to work at two fire depts. only having about 12 hours off between the two terrible idea.I hung on for 6 months until I broke one day and did not make it to shift, and was suspended for not going throught the proper channels. so I quit the one dept. on the spot and had put 9 years ofmy life into that dept. thinking thats where I would retire, well that was not going to happen. The dept. I work at now and the one I quit is about 12 miles apart.
Well things got worse because the reason I missed shift is because there was a death on every shift and other traumatic calls and they just stacked up and not knowing it then but my glass was full and over flowing and the one person you think would have your back did not Donnelly fire chief, he would always say his fire fighters health was his main concern, well he forgot the mental heath aspect. Drinking got worse and I could trust no one. Well then I get married the third time this time there is 3 children involved all
The Power in Stepping Back
Working in the Mental Health Advocacy world certainly comes with its challenges. I had to take a month hiatus for my own mental health and we will have a very raw and transparent discussion about it. I am so glad to have been joined by Kristin Walker, CEO of The Mental Health News Radio Network join me for my return to the microphone discussion. You won't want to miss ths!!
Bill Kinkle- From Rescuer to Rescued
Join former paramedic and RN Bill Kinkle and I as we discuss his career and the "not so expected" journey that his life took. We talk about unaddressed mental health issues, substance abuse, stigma an mouch more!!!William C. Kinkle III, BS, RN, EMT-P is a paramedic and registered nurse who has worked in the pre-hospital, emergency/trauma and critical care arena. He has published several peer reviewed research papers and lectured internationally. Bill's current focus is combatting the opioid overdose epidemic through storytelling, educating the public, and advocating for harm reduction measures. His primary interest is speaking to health care providers on addiction in an effort to break the associated stigma by explaining the brain changes behind addiction as well as offer hope for providers who also suffer. He is married and a father to three toddler age children.
He can be reached at:
Food and Mental Health with Danny Mills
Join Health Coach and Flight Paramedic Danny Mills and I as we discuss how what we eat truly affects how we feel and think. My own first hand , tried experience since the new year began has proven these thoughts to be true. The bets part is what we can do about them to gain an edge. Daniel M. Mills is a seasoned 16-year veteran in fire and EMS in Alabama. He is married to his best friend and a father of 2, Brynleigh and Aaron. Daniel was a professional firefighter for over 12 years before leaving the fire service to fly full time as a flight paramedic. He has been a critical care flight paramedic for over 6 years now, as well as a trauma/neuro researcher. He is a veteran of the US Navy where he served as a Fleet Marine Force Corpsman with the United States Marine Corp for 8 years. Daniel has overseas time to the Middle East, Africa and Spain. He has been an educator now for over 10 years. He currently flies full time and runs the 911 Buddy Check Project. Daniel is also a recovering addict from a 15 plus year addiction problem.
Sean Fogler- Addicted Doctor
Join my former anesthesiologist Sean Fogler and I as we discuss 9/11, PTSD, Medical School, Cocaine, and Felonies. All part of his journey.Sean Fogler is a physician in long-term recovery, mental health and
addiction advocate, peer recovery mentor and healthcare entrepreneur.
Sean was at the World Trade Centers during the September 11 th attacks
and developed PTSD. He used addictive substances and behaviors to
manage his disease, ultimately leading to his conviction of a drug offense
— and loss of his medical license. Now in long term recovery, Sean
advocates for and mentors those that struggle. He uses his experience to
educate, inform and reduce the shame and stigma that keep addiction alive
— especially within the medical community. Sean writes regularly about his
experience to give hope and promote healing in others and himself. He
currently advises a number of healthcare technology companies, one of
which is Reachout – My Support Network, an application that provides
support to those struggling with mental health challenges and other
diseases. Sean is active within the Philadelphia recovery and physician
recovery communities. He has recently begun working with the
Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition and Lawyers Concerned For
Lawyers. He is currently working on a book centered on his experience and
the science of addiction.
Customer ReviewsSee All
You’re not alone
This podcast lets you learn from other people who have had similar experiences and who deal with the same crap on a daily basis.
The only thing I wish was a little different...
everyone in the podcast still glances over childhood sexual abuse. Some people talking about or disclosing their abuse get uncomfortable and you can tell. There’s nothing here that lets first responders know how to deal with that aspect when they get calls related to this issue. It would be nice if it weren’t mentioned quickly and then moved on to talk about the drugs and alcohol. Some of us first responders have other issues not related to drugs...
An important podcast
From the first episode through the latest, I love every second of this. Keep up the great work!
Thank You Stephen!
This show is a must listen for first responders, or anyone that is friends and family to a first responder. Stephen is a great host and I am grateful that he is helping to shine a light on the feelings and emotions behind the job.