By Bob Fowler, Roane State staff writer
Roane State’s Thomas Herron knows first-hand the trauma that EMS personnel can experience as part of their jobs.
Twenty-four years ago, he and a partner responded to an emergency call for a nine-year-old who did not survive. “I knew it bothered me, but I never realized how deeply at first,” Herron said.
Then, in March 2019, he learned that his partner from that call had taken their own life. A note was found that “mentioned me and that call,” said Herron, a Roane State assistant professor and clinical coordinator.
The incident was seared into his psyche, prompting Herron to launch a campaign to make EMS personnel aware of the “exploding problems with mental health issues” also faced by firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
“We’ve always told ourselves we’re supposed to be tougher,” Herron said, “but there’s so much research showing we’re missing the early warning signs of mental health issues.”[Read more…]