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The Unbroken cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-5255-9886-9
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 198 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-5255-9887-6
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 198 pages
  • Keywords
    • Mental health,
    • Post traumatic stress,
    • Suicide Prevention,
    • PTSI,
    • PTSD,
    • First responder,
    • Firefighters

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The Unbroken
A Firefighter's Memoir
by Steve Serbic

When a series of traumatic calls on the job as a firefighter leaves Steve shaken and unable to recover, he, reluctantly at first, seeks out clinical counselling. His one rule, “I won’t talk about my childhood,” closes the door on several therapists, until he meets one who is willing to respect his wishes—providing he explores his childhood on his own. When Steve begins to reflect on his past, he also begins to write it all down. The good, and the terrible. Those written words are here. Growing up in a fractured family rocked by addiction and trauma, Steve had to learn how to understand life, and death, on his own. As a self-described “street rat” on Boundary Road in East Vancouver, Steve caused trouble when it wasn’t already following him around. Struggling in school, at home, and in countless fights, he navigated his way through adolescence with the help of his father, and pursued his dream of becoming a firefighter. While realizing that dream, he is forced to confront the demons of his past and the reality of post-traumatic stress injury. Through clinical counselling he is able to release his past and find the power of self-acceptance and vulnerability. The Unbroken is the memoir of one firefighter, his family, trauma, and resilience. Most importantly it is a story that teaches all of us, no matter our situation, that life is school, and the subject is ourself, our life habits, thoughts, and our reactions to them. And that sometimes it is okay to not be okay.

"An affecting remembrance and an essential book for rescue workers." —Kirkus Reviews "This book is incredible! Steve’s capacity for sharing his story is one of courage, vulnerability, honesty, and pure heart. He writes as he speaks. His resilience is reflected in this book and can teach us all so much about the courage to reach out, the importance of taking care of our mental health, and the complexity of the life of a first responder. I look forward to reading more from Steve! A must read for sure!" —Capreece Bowers, MSc., RCC – Registered Clinical Counsellor "In his honest and compelling journey, Steve changes our view of firefighters as “untouchable”. As the heroes who run in when the rest of us are running out, when the glass is swept up and the flashing lights are turned on , we assume that’s the end when they have just witnessed the unimaginable. I hope that this book will serve as not only a testament to Steve’s unbroken spirit, but also as a resource to all firefighters, first responders, their supervisors, and many others, that it’s “okay to not be okay"." —Carla J Behr "An inspiring book that I was sad to see end. After working with people that struggle with mental health and addiction issues, this book provided a perspective that is much needed. It is easy to read, and told a story that people need to hear. Steve was able to tell his story from a place that allowed the reader to identify with him emotionally, and really feel the intensity of the situations he described." —Dallas Nye, R.Ac, RCH "This is a must read. I could not put The Unbroken down. It is powerful. Deeply personal. Completely honest. Steve puts himself in a vulnerable position in sharing his story and gives hope by sharing his story and its message to stop suffering in silence. The emotional pain carried by first responders, those brave men and women who often see lives at their darkest hour. We cannot unsee what we have seen. We cannot un-hear what we have heard. We cannot un-feel what we have been made to feel. But we can heal. That is what The Unbroken is about. It is about taking your power back. It is about healing." —June Ariano-Jakes, Speaker, Advocate and Author of Addiction: A Mother’s Story "I loved the rawness of this book and the message it brings to others – to stop suffering in silence and to seek help. We lose too many in this world who are suffering to suicide; if only everyone could get the assistance that Steve was able to get in order to help with the pain and grief. This book touched me in a profound and positive way. Thank you, Steve, for sharing your story of healing – an amazing read!" —Vicki Gannon "This book is for everyone. It is for those living with the effects of trauma, addiction, anxiety, and depression. It is for first responders and the people who love first responders. It is for the adults who were once children in a difficult home environment. It is for all those on a journey of healing, or who are holding the hand of someone on that road. The Unbroken is powerfully human, and Steve makes you feel like a better human being by asking you to join him on his journey." —Lori Yohannes, Author of the website Wiser Than Before – Metaphors for Life with Tourette’s

Steve Serbic photo

STEVE SERBIC is an Assistant Fire Chief with Surrey Fire and has been on the front lines of the fire service for over 25 years. As a mental health and wellness advocate, Steve has shared his story with thousands of people across North America. In the fire culture or any workplace, Steve believes we can work together to break down the misconceptions attached to mental health and dispel the fear of stigma, empowering people to speak up and ask for help. His websites are and featuring the podcast: Undercover Mental Health. He lives on Vancouver Island with his wife and two children. The Unbroken is his first book.


Steve Serbic
Eve Chapple
Lori Yohannes

What People are Saying

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