UPDATE: The Grant is closed. The following were the recipients of the sponsored workshops:
Coweta County Fire Rescue, Newman, GA; August County Fire-Rescue, Verona, VA; Barnstead Fire-Rescue, Barnstead, NH; Drexel Volunteer Fire Department, Drexel, MO; City of North College Hill Fire Department, Cincinnati, OH
The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA) is pleased to announce the availability of 5 workshops for Fire and EMS departments that are seeking behavioral health and suicide prevention training with low or no budget available. The grants are provided from funds raised by the family of Adam Tarbert. No first responder is immune to this injury and this is why Adam’s wife, Rebekah, and many friends are on a mission to spread information about first responder PTSD and first responder suicide awareness. Two different workshops are available, Saving Those That Save Others and An Internal Size Up.
Adam Tarbert proudly served as a police officer for 8+ years and a volunteer firefighter for 9+ years. The wear and tear of the badge didn’t show on the outside but slowly ripped him to shreds on the inside. While on active duty, he responded to gruesome calls that plagued his mind until the last day. These things tainted his mind and altered his state of living. He tried every depression medication available, he tried counseling, he fought with everything he had in him to stay alive.
A year after his first son was born, his PTSD took a turn for the worse and he sought help from the family PCP. Instead of suggesting Adam to seek counsel from a psychologist, this doctor treated him with unlimited refills of a highly addictive anti-anxiety medicine that in turn he became addicted.
In January 2014, he found himself addicted and so desperate that he left his pregnant wife and toddler son and drove states away with plans to end his life. From a dark hotel room, a trigger pull away from ending his life, by the grace of God, Adam called Rebekah. Asking her to help save his life by calling the police. His life was spared and immediately he attended rehab to undo what the negligent doctor did. Then he started working on undoing what PTSD has done.
Two years later, He and his wife added a beautiful set of twins to their family. As a now family of 6 the pressures of providing emotionally and financially for the family was a heavy weight for him, but he put on a front as he had been taught to as a first responder.
Unbeknownst to many around him, the last 5 years since the first incident were agonizing. He plateaued on his depression medication and the night terrors taunted him every night. The physical pain from the PTSD was unbearable and hypervigilance during the day turned his anxiety into irritability while the darkness was closing in on all sides. He hid it well because he was fearful of being shamed for being weak… again. Because that is what happened to him back in 2014.
He couldn’t take it and ended his life with his very own duty gun September 16, 2019.
FBHA is a national nonprofit that works to raise awareness about behavioral health issues and suicide in fire and EMS services through data collection and education. Through the grant, FBHA will offer interactive, high-impact virtual trainings for any Fire or EMS department that has limited funds available for training. Attendees will be educated on how to recognize signs and symptoms of those in behavioral health distress and will expand their knowledge through Q&A.