Hominy Firefighter Creates Group For First Responders Struggling With Suicide
HOMINY, Oklahoma - A Green Country firefighter is using Facebook to help first responders struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. Hominy Firefighter Duane Kellogg says he is sick of losing people he loves to suicide. He says he created the group First Responders Against Suicide to give first responders a place they can go and talk, get support and swap stories from people who have been through similar situations.
In his 19 years with the Oklahoma Army National Guard and his 14 years as a firefighter, Duane Kellogg has helped save lives and has also experienced loss.
"I just back this year from Kosovo flying Medivac. I was a sniper in Afghanistan," said Hominy Firefighter Duane Kellogg.
Kellogg says he has struggled with depression for years because of the things he has experienced.
He wasn't the only one struggling. Over the years, he has lost his father and countless friends to suicide.
"Everybody puts PTSD with military. It is not just the military that suffers it is firefighters, it is EMS, it is the dispatchers who hear stuff on the radio. It all affects us differently," said Kellogg.
The Ruderman Family Foundation released a study saying, “first responders were more likely to die by suicide in 2017 than in the line of duty.” Kellogg says the moment he saw the statistics he wanted to help so he created a Facebook Group called First Responders Against Suicide.
"I believe it is easier to talk to someone who has been in the same boat as you about problems like that so I am hoping (this group) will help," said Kellogg.
He hopes the page becomes a safe place for first responders who are struggling, to share stories and get their hands on some resources that might help them cope with the things they are experiencing on the job.
"I know it is not going to end suicides but I want the resources to be out there to as many people as possible….to help that one person that all they needed was one person to talk to at that last moment,” said Kellogg.