Mar 24, 2021
Silence only strengthens stigma, but Rob Leathen is here to dowse that fire with a hose full of truth and experience. He speaks openly and honestly about his struggles and the source of pain for many of our dispatchers who simply just can’t un-hear things people should not hear.
We often think of the first line response we see on a fire or accident call. We forget there are human beings answering these calls to send teams where they need to go. We forget the first voice we hear in a distress call is voice of a trained individual who’s job it is to stay cool and perform under pressure to relieve our pain. But, who relieves their issues when they keep hearing horrendous fear and despair.
Rob has 28 years of service. Starting out in dispatch outside of Toronto, Ontario Canada. He has been a firefighter, captain and became platoon chief of Central York Fire Services.
Therapy, art and writing have helped Rob get his PTSD and depression in check and though he still has bad days, the good days are greater in number. He is minimizing his distress with EMDR.
You can find Rob’s visceral visuals at