by Healing Haven Foundation
After two years of diligent work, Tom and Jenn Ashcraft have formed a nonprofit organization in partnership with the volunteer Hidden Valley Fire Department to help local first responders who have been impacted by traumatic experiences. This includes those who have PTSI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury) as well as people who have been impacted by the trauma of loss and grief. Those in need of assistance participate in the 13-week courses in a safe and confidential setting to avoid any stigmatism in the workplace. The courses have proved to be effective and have helped many participants
“We call it PTSI (Post Traumatic Stress Injury), because it’s not what’s wrong with you; it’s what happened to you. It’s a mind and soul injury, like a wound that needs to be taken care of. Anyone who has witnessed and/or has experienced trauma or a loss in his or her life can develop symptoms of PTSI. However, PTSD sounds like there’s something mentally and permanently wrong with you. You can heal from PTSI, but the first step is knowing the symptoms.”
It was through common tragedy that Tom and Jenn met four years ago, then married in 2015.
Jenn, a 17-year community volunteer with the Prescott Red Cross needed help getting through the devastation and symptoms of PTSI after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Prior to that, she was in the North Tower during the bombing in 1993 and ran for her life. She knows how tragedy can alter one’s life.
Tom, who lost his son, Granite Mountain Hotshot Andrew Ashcraft in the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013, also developed symptoms of PTSI. Tom unfortunately had a double trauma, as he witnessed firsthand the fire exploding out of control as he was traveling through Yarnell that day.
Shortly after, he received a call that his son had perished in the fire.
Tom met Jenn in 2013 during the Yarnell Fire as she helped with Red Cross emergency services, planning the memorial and funerals. They married in 2015 and shared the same goals to bring healing courses to the community.
Through fate, they found an amazing place to live on 7 acres in the Prescott pines. Tom immediately felt something special about it. It turned out that Tom’s son Andrew along with his Granite Mountain Hotshot brothers were there on the grounds in 2011 helping to clear trees and building a fire-suppression pond, which today still serves the White Spar community and fire agencies. Since then, they have helped to further develop the volunteer Hidden Valley Fire Department, which was incorporated in 2011 after Andrew and the crew completed the work.
The department offers training grounds for local and state fire crews. They are working toward offering classrooms and a conference center for courses and community educational classes.
Courses now in downtown Prescott!
The next healing course starts Feb. 8, 6 p.m. at the downtown Prescott Wedding Chapel and Event Center 105 W. Carleton St.
Emergency Support & Counseling Hotline: 928.458.1193
If you would like to be part of this community effort and donate please visit HealingHavenFoundation.org
Mail-in donations can be sent to: Healing Haven Foundation P.O. Box 12324 Prescott, AZ 86304