Jeannine and Oscar Barrera converse easily and seamlessly. Where one pauses in reflection during the conversation the other picks up and finishes the thought. But it wasn't always that simple. Oscar and Jeannine experienced vastly different struggles during Oscar's recovery from severe burn injuries suffered on the job as a firefighter.
Their story is one of strength and family challenges; Jeannine trying to keep thing as normal as possible and Oscar trying to rehab and get back to work. Oscar says,"we could have really benefited from some kind of peer support. We were all alone, and it would have been helpful to talk with another couple that had been through it and helped us through the rough times."
Oscar and Jeannine participated in the initial development and pilot of the firefighter content for the Phoenix SOAR program, and are eager to get the word out that there is help out there. "That's what's wonderful about peer support," Jeannine explains. "You're peers. You understand the experience of the fire service and the challenges of being a firefighter's spouse."