The Weight of Responding

This multi-part Forsyth County News series examines how post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects local first responders, to tell their stories and see how they cope with a problem that’s just now being truly uncovered.

'He just never came back': First responders commit to serve their community, but the job can take a psychological toll

For the longest time, all Matthew Jones wanted out of life was to be a firefighter. From a young age, Jones was inspired by the men of his family to help, serve and protect others. His grandfather was a firefighter. His dad was a medic in the Vietnam War. “As a kid, most want to be a policeman, astronaut or fireman. I only wanted to be a firefighter, the others meant nothing to me,” Jones said. “The big red trucks, the sirens, the way they helped anyone in need, knowing my grandfather was one and what he meant to me.”