Let the Smoke Clear

Ventilation of Behavioral Health Problems in First Responders ​
For more than 200 years the Fire Service had had many great traditions, and a few bad traditions. The worst of the bad traditions is the stigma surrounding Behavioral Health.  

The time has come to recognize the potential and the reality of Behavioral Health Problems that occur in the Fire Service. The stigma attached to Behaviroal Health in Fire Fighters needs to be extiguished and we must ventilate the Fire Service.

Let the Smoke Clear is desinged with that and other goals in mind.

The resources provided and educational seminars put together are to break the stigma, to see and understand the signs and symptoms of Behavioral Health Problems, seek treamtent if needed, recovery from Behaviroal Health Problems and Peer Support.

We spend our lives trying to save others and we deserve to save each other and oursleves. 

The Let the Smoke Clear Facebook page is a place to find information on Behavioral Health Problems that Members of the Fire Service are faced with every day and also to give resources for those that need to seek treatment. We will also post about peer support, family support as well as any pertinent information that will help heal our hurting Brothers and Sisters. 

So we ask you to like our Facebook page and share it with your friends. 

A little bit about the creator of Let the Smoke Clear.

Eric Fessenden has a 31 years of Fire Service expierence with over 15 years of teaching experience as well as being certified in Peer Support. Retiring from Montgomery County (MD) in 2014 due to a neck injury, he now continues to teach as the owner and lead instructor for Future Fire Service Training L.L.C. , he is also a Member of the Motgomery County Career Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 1664 Executive Board and Lead for Peer Support for IAFF Local 1664.      

Eric was diagnosed with PTSD, Comlicated Grief and Anxiety in 2017 and did his treatment as in-patient at the IAFF Center of Excellence.

Eric understands the pain involved in having Behavioral Health Problems and his passion to help others get past the demons that haunt them, is now his main focus.

After his treatment at the Center Of Excellence, Eric has had the honor a speaking to hundreds of members of the Fire Service about Behavioral Health and Peer Support at events such as the IAFF 4th District Partnership Education Program in Pittsburgh, PA., IAFF Convention in Seattle WA., several Fire Departments,  and others. He has also been in articles featured in the IAFF Quarterly Magazine, Firehouse.Com and the Washington Post. He has been interviewed by NBC Harrisburg PA. and CBS Baltimore MD. about PTSD and Treatment.        

Eric uses the studies and articles about Behavioral Health, his Peer Support training as well as his personal experience to provide training to first responders. With the objective of breaking the stigma, explaing the signs and symptoms of Behavioral Health Problems, showing the ways to seek treament, how recovery works as well as how to support each other.  

Let the Smoke Clear programs can be 3 hours up to a full day. The programs are interactive with the students and will not focus soley on statisitcs and studies but more on real life situations and sharing my story. There will be time set aside for questions and answers. You should expect professional presentation with a informal atmopshere. Meaning that information is presented professionally but is not a rigid classroom environment, a firehouse kitchen table feeling would be preferred. We are working together, you are not being talked at. 

Interested in hosting a seminar please email us at [email protected]

I look forward to meeting you and your Members.

Be safe!