2nd Alarm Project hosts Travis Howze to help guide first responders through trauma
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The 2nd Alarm Project held an educational event Friday to help first responders deal with mental health challenges.
Motivational wellness educator, veteran and former first responder Travis Howze shared his program on how to cope.
More than one hundred people across local agencies in Leon County showed up for tonight’s event in hopes to better understand how to cope.
Members of the Tallahassee Fire Department are just one of the local agencies that Travis Howze is looking to help support Friday night.
The 2nd Alarm Project, a nonprofit organization catering to first responders, says there’s a need in the community to guide those dealing with high trauma situations and wanted to address it.
“They see a lot of traumatic events on the job and that coupled with the stress of their personal lives and the stress of every day stressors really makes them a population that needs to hone in on the resiliency techniques,” said 2nd Alarm Project Founder and FAMU faculty member Dr. Kellie O’Dare.
So Friday, first responder motivational wellness educator Travis Howze came to Tallahassee to help first responders work through their mental health issues and prevent suicides.
“I wanted to do something first to just talk about it but actually educate one another and get into the guts of this thing,” exclaimed Motivational Wellness Educator Travis Howze. “Why are we doing this? Let’s not just have a conversation about this happening but let’s actually dissect it and figure out why we’re doing this and how we can go about helping one another when we find ourselves in these situation.”
Howze served in the marines and is a former first responder that says he has dealt with his own traumas.
“When I was a firefighter I was injured in the deadly 2007 sofa superstore fire that killed nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, shared Howze. “Back then we really didn’t have any kind of help for mental health problems so I decided four years ago that I was going to do something about it.”
An experience he shares that helps his peers feel they can speak up.
“The biggest thing is that it helps us normalize those conversations and even though those conversations are an incredibly difficult path, especially with your coworkers being the people you put your life on the line for and with,” said Tallahassee Fire Department Firefighter and medic Lance Butler.
Howze says he’s hoping to help his peers know they can talk about their traumas and struggles and that they have at least one person to speak to.
“What I found was that there are so many other people out there just like me feeling alone and now they want to feel alone anymore,” Howze said. “They can also like oh my goodness we can actually open up and talk about this thing and it’s an amazing feeling I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Howze says he hopes his work will convince others to be there for their peers and wants to ensure as many first responders and veterans as possible no that they’re not alone.
Copyright 2022 WCTV. All rights reserved.