Outreach Staffer Learns About Firefighters’ Work

John SniffenCommunity Outreach, La Hacienda

Outreach Coordinator Ashley Martel, fourth from right, and the other treatment professionals who participated in "Into the Flames."

Photo Caption: Dallas Outreach Coordinator Ashley Martel, fourth from right, and the other treatment professionals who participated in “Into the Flames.” Instructor Casey Ellsworth is third from left.

Dallas-based La Hacienda Outreach Coordinator Ashley Martel recently got a taste of a firefighter’s life.

Along with therapists and staff from other treatment centers in the Dallas area, she participated in “Into the Flames,” a class led by Casey Ellsworth of the Dallas Firefighters Association.

During the first part of the class, they learned about some of the realities of combating fires while saving people and property. This included basic information, such as terminology.

Then, donning heavy safety gear, Ashley and the other participants completed physical drills that are a part of the firefighting academy training.

Respect for the Service

“I have a ton of respect for firefighters,” said Ashley afterward. “It’s a hard job! I also have a heart for their families. The work can take a toll on the family as well as the firefighter.”

The class also helped her better understand how La Hacienda and the other treatment centers can assist those in this work who suffer from drug and alcohol use disorders.

“The class made me think about how the treatment community needs to reach out to first responders and be supportive. They take so much of the brunt of a hard situation. I can see the toll that many years of such stress might take on someone.”