The Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team, Inc. is proud to host the “Surviving the Job” program presented by Lt. Steve Gillespie, FDNY Retired. This program will be held at the North Charleston City Hall Council Chambers located at 2500 City Hall Lane in North Charleston, S.C. on Friday, February 22, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.
Steve Gillespie’s career as a first responder, police officer, and a firefighter began in 1983 with his first fatal motor vehicle accident as a seventeen-year-old volunteer firefighter. His paid career as a New York City firefighter began in 1994 before he retired after twenty-one years on the job. He served his entire FDNY career in The Bronx, one of the busiest boroughs of the FDNY. He served on Engine 63, and thirteen years with Squad 41 before retiring in 2015 as a Lieutenant on Engine 43. The Bronx has a history and a reputation of its’ own and spending twenty-one years there exposed him to much tragedy including responding to the World Trade Center tragedy on September 11, 2001, the “Black Sunday” fire, the Deutsch Bank fire, and many others involving the multiple injuries and loss of firefighters and civilians alike.
Steve is a respected instructor with experience teaching at the FDNY Probationary Firefighter School, the FDNY Technical Rescue School, and presenting at national conferences such as the Firehouse Expo and the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference, both as a lecturer and a H.O.T. instructor. He is presently a peer team member with the Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team, Inc. and has become a Training Officer with the North Charleston Fire Department since retiring from the FDNY in 2015.
Steve will share his story of how he has gone beyond his PTSD diagnosis to PTG (Post Traumatic Growth) with the help of therapy, medication, and becoming a peer counselor. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a silent injury that is not discussed as openly as it should be. Steve offers his story with others hoping they realize that there is no longer a stigma with being in pain. Gone are the days of “suck it up kid” and “we don’t talk about that stuff”. Talking helps empty “the box” of stored up trauma and images before it can overflow and affect you and your home life. This is not a scientific study or research but Steve’s story and how he has “Survived the Job”.
Steve’s poignant story promises to be valuable to firefighters, other first responders, peer team members, and clinicians serving in the emergency services world. Come join us to hear his story.