SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of firefighters are choosing to commit suicide.
The National Fire Agency (NFA) reported on Tuesday that as many as 56 firefighters committed suicide between 2015 and 2019, which is twice the number of deaths in the line of duty (23 people).
Between 2013 and 2017, 47 firefighters committed suicide, while 49 took their own life between 2014 and 2018, which shows that more firefighters are committing suicide every year.
Firefighters picked post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coming from stressful working environment and irregular sleeping patterns as critical factors behind resorting to such extreme measures.
“I think PTSD is what’s driving them to commit suicide,” said a local firefighter.
According to a joint study conducted by the NFA and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 54.7 percent of individuals exposed to a high risk of suicide suffer from PTSD, which is tenfold the overall average (5.6 percent).
Sleep disorders also comprised 81.1 percent, three times the overall average (25.3 percent).
To address the imminent problem, the NFA has been working on establishing comprehensive recuperation centers to offer professional treatment and rehabilitation services to firefighters.
The bill to establish the recuperation centers recently passed the National Assembly in November of last year, passing the first round of legislation.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)