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Hollywood, here I come!

Brian Cook finds himself forced to go to therapy for responder stress and PTSD

Tragedy strikes the small town that is home to Brian and Melanie Cook. Brian, a passionate firefighter, father and husband begins to deteriorate after the particularly bad call that took the life of a local teenager and friend to the Cook children.

James Dickey plays Brian Cook while Terry Gabhart plays his father, Jim Cook

The family is torn apart as Brian enters into a dark place that is only made worse by being put on leave to attend classes that are intended to help him with his stress and developing alcoholism. As Brian refuses the help, the different voices of his therapy begin to chip away at the wall Brian has erected to protect himself until he is given one last chance to answer the call.

The last two weeks I have been a bit remiss at posting new blog content but I warned you all that I would be gone for while. I was honored to join the cast of the motion picture being filmed in Kentucky entitled “Fighting The Fire”. As Rev Allen Bratcher, I get to walk the Cook family through what is unfortunately a reality for many responder families.

"Brian and Melanie Cook" with Director Bobby Lacer

As Brian learns the meaning of forgiveness, the rest of the family grows to appreciate their father and the sacrifices that he makes as one of America’s hometown heroes.

It was great to work with such an amazing cast and crew and I want to thank them all. Little Chicago Pictures has definitely put together quite a film that I am sure will impact many lives as it is released.

Special thanks to James Dickey who let me teach him how to be the "screwed up me", Director Bobby Lacer who had the guts to cast a non-actor like myself in such a role, Joseph Moreland who brought back so many memories for me, little Kaitlynn Kemp who kept me

Assistant Director Amber Thompson also played the dispatcher

from missing home so much, Dylan and Austin Shell who reminded me that there are still professionals out there that care about the outcome, Angela Baker who walked in grace and class no matter what was happening, Ira Cross who became my “brother brother”, my son Jayden who never sleeps, Braxton Noble, the nicest kid I have ever watched die in a film, and finally Amber Thompson who helped me keep my sanity, was my strength and many times my inspiration.

Dean Hill as Captain B. Cowheard

Folks, when this movie comes out, do not just make sure you go and see it, but share it with your responder friends. This film is comprised of dozens of real stories, many of them told by the folks who lived them. Spattered with bits of humor and romance, the movie will also take you on a drastically emotional journey through the dark realm of responder PTSD and the lives of everyone it effects. There were several incidents on set when cast or crew member would break down emotionally and we would have to stop filming. This movie is so real and so well produced I have high hopes for its reception by the public.

Shane Yuhas (left) and Professional Wrestler Nick Harmon (right) play two firefighters

I will post some pictures from time to time and keep you all informed as to when the movie is expected to release.

James Museitif played rookie firefighter Ali Hamad

James Dickey, whyo played Brian Cook has promised us an intervierw for this blog!

Cinematographer Dylan Shell (foreground) with Gaffer Roman Jossert

It was great to hang out with WWE's Simon Dean (Mike Bucci) who plays Firefighter Ben Shaw

The beautiful and talented Angela Baker as Melanie Cook

Rev. Allen Bratcher in the church kitchen

Rates of PTSD in firefighters may be heightened more so than in other professions.1 Many people will experience a potentially traumatic event at some point in their life. But just because you have experienced a traumatic event does not mean that you will definitely go on to develop PTSD. However, people who have experienced multiple traumatic events have been found to be at greater risk of developing PTSD. One group of people that may experience many traumatic events as part of their job—and thus be at a heightened risk for PTSD—is firefighters.

Seeking out help is an important way of reducing the risk of developing PTSD as a result of experiencing multiple traumatic events as Brian Cook finds out almost too late.

Brian and Melanie discuss group therapy

Most fun at a funeral EVER.

Group Therapy

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