Glendale Fire Department has new program to end growing suicide rates nationwide


Monica Garcia

GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The City of Glendale has a new peer support program they hope will help end suicide growing rates among firefighters.

The program is one of the first of its kind in the state, addressing nationwide statistics that firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than on the job.

One hundred twenty times a day, that’s the amount firefighters here in Glendale are called to duty. This makes them one of the busiest fire departments in the US.

“We see everything from gunshot wounds stabbings, child codes drowning, heart attacks,” said Captain Ashley Losch with Glendale Fire.

And often, In these cases, they arrive first on the scene. In particular, one call has stuck with Captain Ashley Losch, the night she responded to a double murder-suicide.

“Truth be told, it’s been ten years since that call, and I didn’t know I was struggling with this all this time,” said Losch. “A father that had killed his two children, they were lying in their beds, and he shot himself, and he videotaped himself doing that, the whole act.”’

About Monica Garcia

Monica is a General Assignment Reporter during the weekday evening newscasts. Her path to Arizona’s Family started in our nation’s capital at the NBC affiliate WRC. There, she worked as a production assistant and writer. In 2008, She helped field produce Pope Benedict XVIs first visit to Washington, D.C.

Since then, some of the high-profile news stories she has been on include Orlando Nightclub Shooting, Disney Gator attack, Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. During Hurricane Florence, Monica and her photographer were shooting video near downtown Lumberton, NC, in an area devastated by flooding. They heard a cry for help. That’s when they spotted a man waving a T-shirt in the air. They called rescue crews who were loading up for the day and helped facilitate the rescue three men stranded in their home. Monica also spent the days following California’s Camp Fire speaking and telling the stories of people seeking refuge at evacuation shelters.