PA fire commissioner advocates suicide prevention efforts for first responders

Written by on September 14, 2020

 PA fire commissioner advocates suicide prevention efforts for first responders

By Gabi Falk, WLVR Lehigh University Intern

September 14, 2020

Photo from the Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner Facebook page.

One of Pennsylvania’s top emergency officials says suicides among first responders are increasing.

Bruce Trego is the Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner. Speaking on 9/11, he called the rising national rate, especially in fire personnel, alarming. 

“As of the end of August there were already 60 confirmed suicides of first responders.”

Trego says he’s working with the Wolf administration to help prevent suicides. The state has  launched a four year strategy to fight stigmas associated with mental health to increase training and education on suicide. With many free courses online for first responders to help them cope with job stress. 

“First responders remain integral in providing assistance to those going through the worst experience they have ever had to deal with,” said Trego.

Trego says the global pandemic has increased the need for more attention and resources to help protect the mental health of first responders. 

More information about the TRAIN PA program can be found online at

This story is part of a collaboration between WLVR News and Lehigh University’s Department of Journalism & Communication. View all student stories.

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