Wife of Fallen Thomas Fire Firefighter Launches Mental Health Foundation for First Responders

The wife of a firefighter killed battling the massive Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties last year is launching a foundation dedicated to first responders suffering from the mental and emotional impacts of the job.

Ashley Iverson is launching the Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness in her husband, Corey Iverson's memory. She says she has spent most of her life battling anxiety and depression.

“The job impacts them whether you want to admit it or think it or not,” Iverson told NBC 7. “What they see and do on a daily basis is something that the human brain can only compartmentalize for so long."

The day one of Cory's fire captains committed suicide from jumping off the Pine Valley bridge brought these silent battles closer to home.

“Corey came home, I saw fear in his eyes for the first time,” she said.

Iverson hopes the foundation can help reduce the rates of suicide, anxiety, divorce and other stressors in the lives of first responders.

Nearing the anniversary of her husband's death, the foundation is already starting to set up events, helping save those who save everyone else.

“As strange as it sounds, Corey has given me legs,” she added. “He’s given me the gift of being able to find my purpose for being on this planet.”

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