By Member John Long, Jr.
March 25, 2020


Share the Load™ Support Program for Fire and EMS
Most people are aware of the physical demands that first response activities place on firefighters and EMS providers. But it is important to also realize the impact that fighting fires and responding to emergencies has on the mental wellbeing of emergency personnel. Firefighters and EMS providers face the risk of many behavioral health concerns such as anxiety, depression, burnout, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction among others.

Taking care of your mental health is as important as managing your physical health. The NVFC’s Share the Load™ program provides access to critical resources and information to help first responders and their families manage and overcome personal and work-related problems. This includes the Fire/EMS Helpline, which offers free 24-hour assistance with issues such as stress, depression, addiction, PTSD, and more.

The resources in this section can assist individuals seeking help for a behavioral health issue as well as departments looking to implement or enhance a behavioral health program.

Fire/EMS Helpline – 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)
Share the Load™ Resources (Helpletter, poster, ads, family guide, suicide prevention report, training)

Share the Load Videos featuring warning signs to watch for, personal stories, how to talk to someone who needs help, and resources that are available.
Additional Fire Service and EMS Behavioral Health Resources (organizations, helplines, reports, courses and webinars)
Articles and news on behavioral health topics
National Fire Service Suicide Reporting System

We tragically lose dozens of firefighters and EMTs each year to suicide. The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance is the nationally recognized reporting system for collecting data about firefighter suicide. The reporting system is confidential and the data is used to identify trends and prevent future instances of firefighter and EMT suicide. To report a suicide, go to and click on “FF Suicide Report” in the left menu.