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Recurrent Natural Disasters Exacerbate First Responder Stressors, But There Is Hope

“Wind, prior to 2017, didn’t trigger people’s fears about wildfires. Now, it doesn’t matter when, wind hits that nerve.”

For those facing tragedy, disaster and emergencies every day, stigma poses a challenge, but the importance of personal mental health care is being normalized.

Speaking during high winds on Feb. 1, Cyndi Foreman, fire marshal and division chief at Sonoma County Fire District, said windy days didn’t used to be a trigger for people. Now, when the winds pick up like they did on that fateful October morning in 2017 — and in the years since — Sonoma County residents, including first responders, find themselves worrying about wildfires.

“We just can’t seem to catch a break, and our community and first responders are feeling the chronic disaster fatigue because our fire seasons are almost year round now. We’re sitting here today during a significant wind event — February is typically a month we feel we can catch our breath,” Foreman said. “Wind, prior to 2017, didn’t trigger people’s fears about wildfires. Now, it doesn’t matter when, wind hits that nerve.”

Read more at SoCo News

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