Helping ' first responder' families stay together

Saturday, August 14th 2004, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

Tragedies like the Florida hurricane and the Oklahoma City bombing make us aware of the jobs of first responders, the people who risk their lives to serve and protect.

But beyond the heroism that comes with the job comes "stress" which can lead to depression and leave many couples emotionally detached. One Tulsa firefighter has started a program to help strengthen Oklahoma families.

News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says 50% of marriages nationwide end in divorce. The percentage is even higher for first responders.

Sometimes the pain and stress that comes with dealing with tragedy is hard for many of them to deal with on their own, let alone to communicate with a spouse. Saturday, several area police officers, firefighters and emergency technicians met at Newspring Family Church for the first annual "First Responder" Family Summit.

This faith-based program is for any couple in a strong or rocky relationship to learn how to keep the lines of communication open while dealing with a stressful job and keeping the Christian principles of marriage in mind to make marriage a priority rather than opt for divorce.

Tulsa firefighter Chad Miller: "They're talking about the different roles husbands and wives play in your marriage and how to more or less to, just principles on the bible on how to be a good spouse and a good husband and a good wife."