I don't know if I am posting this in the right area but I am a new firefighter, have only had my card since december and I have only been on one fire. I am having problems with anxiety off duty about the job and about working a fire. I struggled through my fire class, I did everything that was required but I really struggled. Does anyone have any suggestions that can help relieve my anxiety about the job? I am attending traininigs and doing extra training to learn equipment when I am at the firehouse but it's not helping much. Any suggestions?
I agree with everybody else here.Find a mentor,learn to take a deep breath and get your thoughts together.Train hard but don't get super obsessed.There is a fine line between training hard and studying and obsessing.You'll figure out what that is aftyer a while.The best thing to do is find a hobby for the off time.It will help to keep you from getting burned out .
I think we've all experienced that type of anxiety before. It is our training that kicks in and pulls us through. That is why firefighters do so much repetitive training. You'll do fine. I agree with most of the guys here in saying get a mentor and a hobby.
Thank you for all your guys advice I kind of already have someone that I do
Most of my training with and go to when I need help and when I work with him it does ease my anxiety it also helps that they are one of my officers. To answer the question of what I struggled with in school honestly pretty much everything from claustrophobia and freaking out In the fire to retaining the information it was just overall a major struggle.
You need to ask yourself why do want to be a firefighter first? Why are you here?
It seems to me that you second guess yourself a lot. Second guessing yourself will get you, me, and other firefighters hurt/ killed. Relax just like everyone else has said, answer those two questions to yourself by writing your answer on a piece of paper/ notepad and keep it in your locker or on yourself. Yes, I strongly agree the you get a Hobbie away from the fire service. If you have a family do more with them first,. Last but not least find a "Mentor" A wise and trusted counselor or teacher. In this business I fine it hard to "Trust" cause as fire fighters we like to tease when we find out you have a weakness. Good Luck & "God Bless"
Jesse, after the deep breath you need to focus. You will be assigned a specific job and if you focus on that job you will do well. The mentor should be aware that you have anxiety and should do some simple skills drills with you to get over the "am I doing this right" part. When things are right you should not second guess yourself.
As far as why you do the job, we all laugh about the "everything, including the cockroaches are going out...why am I going in" syndrome. But there is a basic love of the job. As John and Jace indicated DO NOT put yourself and the rest of the team in a bad spot because you do not love the job. If your department has non-front line positions consider that until you gain the confidence to do the job.
thank you jeremy. i am the newest trained FF on my department right now and thankfully my chief is aware of my lack of confidence of going in and said he will not put anyone in a job that they are not confident in because it is dangerous as i am very aware. i guess a lot of my anxiety comes from the fact that it is very likely at times that being we are so small if you're on the first truck and you arrive first you are pretty well having to go in with the crew on your truck because there is no one else. and i guess i am worried about being put in one of those situations and not having a choice. and maybe i would do fine, once the adrenaline kicks in i know our mindsets can change very quickly to being scared to being pumped up. it just makes me very anxious to think about.
now you sound like the normal probie jitters! Don't fret yourself to death! How did your first fire go?
If it went well then remember the good things that happened. As for being forced into the fire...
You are part of a team. We all screw up sometimes but our teams help us over the hurdles.
Yes i had the same Problem...iv been on the job for about 5 years now though... I just found one person i could talk to on the Dpt about it...hes more of a friend then anything elce so it helped...when i train i do it by my self after someone has shown me....i tend to lissen to music while im doing it so its less stress....If you dont fell Cumfy doing something talk to you chief...he wont make you do something you dont want to.
Hope this helps
Jr Fire Fighter Leblanc
L-Theanine is an amino acid that helps the brain to adjust and deal with stress and anxiety. It's not a drug, but a naturally-occurring substance that the brain is already secreting, but sometimes, in a smaller amount than we need.
I've had situations that were extremely difficult to handle and it's helped enormously.
Give it a few days to start its effect.
Any decent healthfood store should carry it.
If you feel better knowing more about something before ingesting it, as I do, research it. Just do a Google search of L-Theanine.
Incidentally, L-theanine is found in green tea, something known to have a calming effect.
Aerobic exercise is also very helpful and has the other obvious benefits of increased strength and stamina, not to mention keeping your cardio-vascular system in good condition.
You may want to just give yourself more time to adjust to the stresses of firefighting. Don't rush and don't expect too much too soon.
Good luck, stay strong and be safe.