Some proceeds from South Florida firefighters calendar to benefit organization fighting PTSD

2 other organizations also to benefit from proceeds of annual calendar

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – For the last 26 years, the South Florida firefighters calendar has been a dazzling display of sizzling photographs of first responders. 

Now for the first time, one of the organizations the calendar benefits raises awareness for a not-so-secret issue many face: post-traumatic stress disorder.

Retired Hialeah Fire Lt. Luis Espinosa has been in charge of the calendar from the beginning. Several months ago, he heard about an organization called "Never Walk Alone," which was started by Miami Beach firefighter Claudio Navas. 

Navas began walking the Miami Half Marathon in 2015 to honor a friend he lost to PTSD. His group grew and was bolstered by Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Yami Diaz.

Espinosa thought it was a good fit.

"We have this stigma that nobody wants to talk about. We go on calls, people look at you (like), 'Oh, you guys are superheroes,'" Navas said.

Diaz said the stresses of the job can be a detriment to mental health. 

"We want to save lives. We want to protect property," she said. "But we also have our personal issues at home -- challenges. We see very difficult things out there."

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