Tragedy in Warren: First responders also need help with grief - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Tragedy in Warren: First responders also need help with grief

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WARREN, Ohio - On June 16, 2011, six people died inside a Warren home after it caught fire. To date, it's deadliest blaze in Warren's history.

On March 3, 2012, first responders were called to another Warren home. The fire, which claimed four lives, is the city's second deadliest blaze.

On March 10, 2013, crews arrived at a Warren pond where six children died in the county's deadliest accident on record.

"There is nothing that really prepares you for an incident of that magnitude," said Warren Fire Chief Ken Nussle.

Even though it's their job, first responders can suffer from these tragedies. Nussle says after responding to an incident, the Warren Fire Department sits down and talks about what happened as a way to gauge how first responders are dealing with what they witnessed.

"We can kind of monitor the personnel and get a feel who is able to deal with it and who is not," Nussle said.

PsyCare Director, Dr. Deirdre Petrich, says first responders are at a higher risk for developing post traumatic stress disorder.

Indicators of PTSD include intrusive thoughts, like dreams or flashbacks of the event. Avoidance behavior, that's when a person might stop participating in things that use to bring them joy and hyper vigilance, that's when a person is always on guard.

"Fire fighters are all individuals and what effects one might not necessarily effect another," Nussle said.

At the Warren Fire Department, there are two resources available to employees who are having a difficult time; the employee assistance program and the department chaplain.

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