Firefighters provide emotional support of crews in Surfside

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 9:55 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Crews from the Pelham and Hoover fire departments are back home after spending several days at the site of the condo collapse in Florida.

The emotional toll of the search and recovery process in Surfside, Florida is as heavy as the mountains of debris crews are tasked to dig through.

Trained fire crews from Alabama spent several days at the deadly condo collapse site to try and help carry the emotional load.

“If someone needed to talk about just what was going on, we were there for that,” said Pelham Firefighter Jim Terrell.

Terrell is a member of the International Association of Firefighters. He’s trained to provide peer support to combat the emotional and psychological impact of working traumatic incidents. One firefighter to another.

Peer support firefighters are trained to recognize the signs of stress and provide early intervention.

“There have been more suicides in the last three years than deaths in the line of duty and we’re trying to combat that,” said Terrell.

The 14-member crew included firefighters from departments across the nation.

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