Rockford Fire Department addresses mental health effects of the job

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Working in demanding careers as a Rockford EMS responder or firefighter can not only put your life but also your mental health in danger.

We only see or hear our local heroes when they are at their best during intense and stressful situation they are trained to endure.

Often times these experiences are carried with responders taking a toll on their mental health. Chief Bergsten says it's okay to have those feeling but it's more important how you deal with them.

"Every responder has had two or three calls that they can recall everything that really traumatized them. That had an impact and they took home," says Chief Bergsten.

R.F.D. wants to erase the stigma that comes with the mental health impacts of the job. Chief Bergsten says Rockford Fire employees will have some mental effects by the sights and sounds they hear.

The department which is addressing this not so easily seen side of the job wants employees to know there are resources available, from peer to peer trainers, firefighter behavioral support teams and the Chaplain's Division.

The department also has resources available for spouses and family of fire department personnel.