FOX 35 Care Force: Seminole County firefighter goes above and beyond to mentor peers
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - No one knows what it is like to be a firefighter – like another firefighter. The Seminole County Fire Department has set up a peer support team to help members debrief with others who have been in their boots.
Lieutenant Josh Marzolf leads the Seminole County Fire Department's peer support team.
"Just talking about things sometimes is probably the greatest therapy and doing that with a peer, someone you trust, not a stranger and someone who understands you." Lieutenant Marzolf says. "You know, you're talking to somebody who's been through the exact same scenario you've been through, and they can help you through it."
Lieutenant Marzolf knows what it is like to work in an intense work environment.
"I came from a military background. Suicides were huge there, too, and we didn't catch it in time. You start seeing these trends in the fire department and [I] immediately became involved just trying to change the direction and make people more aware of what's going on." Says Lieutenant Joshua Marzolf. "Everything from PTSD to a potentially traumatic event. There's therapies, there's ways to fix it."
His fellow firefighters believe it is Lieutenant Marzolf's passion for others that makes him a great guy to lean on.
"He has a level of empathy and compassion and when you go to talk to him. When you walk into that room, he lights up the room and has a positive nature and an awesome outlook," says Lieutenant Dave Williams, a Paramedic for the Seminole County Fire Department.
Lieutenant Marzolf was presented with the FOX 35 Care Force Award Wednesday for his work behind-the-scenes helping his fellow firefighters.
You can read more about all of the FOX 35 Care Force Award recipients HERE.