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Welcome to YourFFAdvocate

Hi! I'm happy you're here. My name is Shelby and I am the founder of YourFFAdvocate. I have been involved in the fire service since 2017 and am incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that have been presented to me since.

Last summer I was given the opportunity to serve as a firefighter/paramedic on a full-time fire department. What I thought was going to be my lifelong career, quickly turned into an eye opening experience.

My first month was great. I felt like I had finally found my niche. However, once I started getting settled in, things began to change.

I realized that instead of being built up, I was being torn apart. I would spend a lot of my time anxious about going back to work. I began to question my capabilities as a fire-medic and my confidence deteriorated. As time went on, I found it nearly impossible to ask questions and present ideas on calls out of fear that I was going to get torn to shreds.

The anxiety I felt on shift carried over to my time off shift. I noticed I was spending most of my off time anxious, depressed, and dreading going back to work. Thats when I decided it was time to make a change.

I sat on it for a couple weeks and finally decided it was time to resign from my position. I went back to my part-time department where I felt like a valuable asset and my mental health improved significantly.

I went on to publish an article through Lexipol about my experiences and have come to the harsh realization that it wasn't just my department that let me down. There are firefighters all over the country that have or, currently are, struggling at their own departments.

Whether you're worried about retaliation from your colleagues or think its "just part of probation" I realized its difficult to talk about these things.

My goal is to normalize conversations about incivility within the firehouse and talk about the things that many don't. You'll find that I have created a section on this website designated for anonymous submissions where anyone can talk about the things that they have experienced without the fear of backlash from their departments, colleagues, and even friends. I will be monitoring these closely and will not tolerate any negative comments.

Your voice is important and I'd like to hear it.

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