November 3, 2011

City fire crews deal with one suicide a week over recession

' City fire crews deal with one suicide a week over recession TRAUMA: Victims are getting younger By Geraldine Gittens A DUBLIN firefighter has revealed there has been a huge rise in suicides since the reces- sion hit.

The officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, says finan- cial worries, marriage break- ups and custody battles are contributing to the tragic carnage across the city.

He said firefighters used to be called to a suicide scene every month a few years ago – now it is common for officers to attend one every week.

The shocking tragedies include teenagers and young men and two recent hangings took place in public – one in a city park, and one from a street lamppost.

The fire source revealed: "We're finding that there's a huge increase in suicides and attempted suicides. And it's very difficult for the families. They discover that the person is miss- ing or not at home and they walk into the bedsit and the apartment, or the wife returns home from work and finds her spouse hanging.

"We're called to a lot more attempted suicides with tablets, hanging and self-harm.

"The age profile is getting younger, with teenagers and guys in their late twenties hang- ing themselves." Recently, a stressed fireman in Phibsborough confided to colleagues that he had called to three separate suicides in one week – but sadly each one was found too late.

"I can't imagine what it felt like for him going home after- wards. By the time we arrive it really is an emotional scene.

"A lot of the family and friends could have been called in the meantime and they're all waiting outside while we work on the person.

"But, unfortunately with sui-cides, the majority of times ourattempts to resuscitate the per-son are unsuccessful becausethe person could have done it inthe morning and not be founduntil the spouse comes homefrom work at 6pm.

"The families are so shockedthat all they can do is dial 999and blurt out the address. Theycan't speak." But the fire officer says inthe long term, it's therapeuticfor families to see their relativebeing given every help from theemergency services. I think it isimportant It really does helpthe family to process the infor-mation and it helps with thehealing process afterwards toknow that everything was donefor their loved one," he added.