Breaking News
More () »

TGI Texas: Retired Dallas firefighter launches non-profit as mental health resource for first responders

After almost three decades with Dallas Fire-Rescue, Ray Schufford went from helping civilians to helping the people that help civilians.

DALLAS — Ray Schufford spent nearly 30 years saving lives as part of Dallas Fire-Rescue. But he says his calling came to him during his last years as chaplain. 

"I felt like God was placing me in a position that I could help so many other people because of the things that I had gone through, personally in my own life, because I could actually speak to whatever they were dealing with," said Schufford.

Schufford's now retired, but he's still helping people. These days, he's helping his fellow first responder with a new non-profit organization called "2 The Next Shift."

"The help comes with providing them with counseling resources, providing them with if they need something, you know, financially," he said. "Any way that I can give a encouraging word, you know, because I really feel like that's the thing that first responders need most these days: encouragement."

Schufford said the culture for responders is to come off as a sort invincible savior for everyone and it can be hard for them to admit when they need help. He wants them to know that they have support when they want it.

"It's OK to say, 'Hey, you know what? I need to go talk to somebody.'" said Schufford. "A counselor or a friend, or just someone that says. 'Hey, I'm with you. I'm not gonna leave you.... I'm gonna walk with you so you can make it to that next shift."

Before You Leave, Check This Out