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Local firefighter authors journals to help first responders combat PTSD

Posted at 12:26 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 18:00:16-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects people of all ages and all walks of life, including our first responders.

Scott Finazzo has been a firefighter for more than 20 years and said he has seen his share of trauma.

"A lot of people don't have healthy ways of coping with that," said Scott Finazzo. 

Finazzo said he has painfully witnessed co-workers, brothers and sisters in service, suffer from PTSD.

"You get that you're going to see some bad things, conceptually you get it, but what you're never really prepared for is the lack of meaning behind some of it, the lack of resolution," said Finazzo. 

Doctors at Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health recommend talking about traumatic situations or writing about them.

"Writing down or talking to a confidant can be a really effective way of just making sense and working your brain through what you just experienced," said Dr. Abbey Gripka, Clinical Psychologist at Truman Medical Center. 

Finazzo created journals for that purpose, which are available for purchase on Amazon.

The description for "A Firefighter’s Story" read “each entry asks specific questions about life on shift, such as: station assignment, crew, best part of the day, and most troubling part of the day.”

"A Paramedic's Story," and "A Police Officer's Story" are also available on Amazon.

Counseling appointments at TMC Behavioral Health campus are available Monday-Friday from 8-5 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome from 9 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Call: 816-404-5709