Raising awareness about PTSD among first responders

Published: May. 30, 2019 at 7:03 PM CDT
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A former first responder is riding across the country to help raise awareness about some of the unseen dangers that firefighters and police face.

Jeff Shepard shared his story today in Sioux Falls. He was a police officer for 10 years and a firefighter for seven years. He was diagnosed with PTSD twice and eventually retired.

Shepard says first responders are called to many different scenes. Some can have a negative effect on an employee's emotional well-being.

This summer, he's visiting departments who are doing a good job of supporting officers and firefighters.

"So that if there are neighboring cities that might have some officers who are struggling and they want to start something, hopefully, they'll see something like this and say hey Sioux Falls is doing something great, let's talk to them," Shepard said.

Sioux Falls served as the kick-off for the "Ride 4 Relief," which will make stops in 35 states this summer.

Last year, Shepard rode from Seattle to Washington D.C. raising awareness about PTSD.