First responders routinely experience work-related events that meet the definition of a traumatic stressor. Despite the high exposure to traumatic events, prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are relatively low. This discrepancy points to the potential value of identifying factors that distinguish those traumatic stressors that produce ongoing traumatic stress symptoms from those that do not. The present study surveyed 181 first responders from rural settings. A repeated-measures design was used to compare characteristics of traumatic stressors that were or were not associated with ongoing PTSD symptoms.