On January 13, 2021, Novato Fire Protection District Firefighter/Paramedic Nicole Scott received the Firefighter Hero Award from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and MAGLITE®. Scott was honored for her leadership in addressing the behavioral health of firefighters who endure extraordinary stress on a consistent basis.
A published report by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation affirms that fire service members are a higher suicide risk group than the general population. Among other factors, the nature of emergency response work and the exposures it brings, means that the majority of firefighters and EMS responders become an at-risk population from their first days on the job. A fire department is at least four-times more likely to experience a suicide than a line-of-duty death.
According to Novato Fire Protection Chief Bill Tyler, “Nicole is a firefighter who puts service above self, always ready, always responding when called upon to go out individually, or as a team, when called to defuse or debrief with crews day or night, after any challenging or atypical incident. She has prepared herself for these challenges by volunteering to participate and represent California Firefighters on the Statewide Behavioral Task Force. She has taken many hours of training, learned and shared best practices, and identified qualified, local and regional culturally competent counselors and resources, and connected those resources to our firefighters in beneficial and meaningful ways.”
The Chief also added that, “Nicole genuinely cares about the health and safety of all our firefighters and actively seeks new and innovative ways to bring it to our group. This can be a difficult area of support and Nicole has committed to help when others are not comfortable or willing to go. This requires physical strength and mental and emotional courage. Nicole is helping people on their worst day and meeting the issues that surface head on, to help reduce these mental injuries and return our firefighters to the job healthier and more prepared to face the next call.
“Firefighters have extremely difficult and stressful jobs and are all heroes and we are very pleased to honor Nicole Scott through this program,” said Anthony Maglica, Founder and CEO of Mag Instrument, Inc.
The Firefighter Hero Award program is a joint effort between MAGLITE® and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The program periodically honors single firefighters, groups, or whole departments for extraordinary commitment to upholding excellence in firefighting and related activities.
“Our partnership with MAGLITE® affords us the opportunity to acknowledge the great work being done by firefighters and fire departments around the country to keep us all safe,” said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF.
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