“It was a couple years at this point, where it’s really affecting me. I was in denial about PTSD, and I was like oh well, I was a marine, I was in combat in Afghanistan. Alright, this is basically, you know, combat in New Jersey.”
– Officer Jay
Officer Jay had been on countless 911 calls, but something about this one felt different. Perhaps it was the lack of information available from dispatch or the call’s nondescript branding as a “disturbance,” but whatever it was, the uneasy feeling followed him as he and his partner drove to the address in question. When the door was answered by a man with a gun, Jay knew there wasn't much time to take cover, but he didn’t know how the incident would ultimately change his life.
Join former paramedic/firefighter and host Phil Klein as he sits down with Jay, a retired police officer who served in law enforcement for 12 years. Jay recalls the moment a 911 call turned deadly as a man pulled a gun on his partner, and he was forced to make a life-altering decision. He describes the weight of his actions on his mental health, his department’s lack of support and resources, and his eventual choice to push his thoughts aside, mask his feelings with alcohol, and become idle and unmotivated – all telltale signs of PTSD. Now, Jay works with first responders and veterans in the hope that his story will inspire others to break the stigma and seek help. He also encourages first responders to take time for themselves and to make their mental health and their families a priority.
Did you know that next week is the final episode in season four of Stories From the Road? But don’t worry – season five is already in the works for 2023! In the meantime, check out all the great episodes available on www.storiesfromtheroadpodcast.com or whichever platform you use to listen. If you’d like to be a guest on the upcoming season, click here to learn more. Thank you for your support!