DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Fire chiefs from across the world are gathered in Dallas for the annual Fire-Rescue International Conference put on by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

This year the association says it’s dedicated to addressing bullying and harassment within fire department ranks.

Retired South Fulton, Georgia Fire Chief David Daniels is leading a task force on the issue at the conference.

He says this year they have sessions specifically dealing with bullying and how to stop it.

“If we can create a culture on the front that says we are kind to one another and we treat each other with dignity and respect then you don’t end up with bullying,” said Chief Daniels. “The stress of the work outside, the stress of the work inside we have firefighters who end up experiencing PTSD… and there are some of us that believe that shouldn’t be that way and we need to do something about it.”

The discussion of a culture of hazing and bullying he says is not an easy one to have, but it’s crucial in order change the culture.

Daniels says while there isn’t much hard data available on the pervasiveness of the issue, he believes anecdotal evidence suggests the problem is wide spread.

The conference at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention center runs through Sunday.

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