How Agencies Can Help With First Responder Trauma

By Joseph Hunter, M.A.

The work of a first responder is immensely rewarding.  Firefighters can save people from burning homes and buildings. Police officers protect their communities from violence.  And EMTs and nurses help people when sick or injured.

But being a first responder also comes with many challenges.  They work long hours, see humanity at its worst, and even put their lives in danger – all to help others.  So, who is helping our heroes when they are the ones who need help?

Experiencing trauma day in and day out without a healthy way to cope is exhausting, stressful and can lead to burnout.  Because of this, it is imperative that employers do everything they can to help and protect the mental health of first responders.

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Running On Fumes… The 9-1-1 Dispatcher

By Samantha Smith – Armor Up West Virginia

The amount of stress a 911 dispatcher faces each and every shift, day after day will eventually start taking a toll.  Yes, stress is a part of life.  While most people deal with everyday life stress such as car problems, family schedules, house repairs, our 911 dispatchers deal with that and so very much more. There are times your stress will carry over for a 911 dispatcher for assistance.

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When The Phone Rings… A 9-1-1 Dispatcher’s Pain

By Samantha Smith – Armor Up West Virginia

Being a 911 dispatcher is not a job for just anyone.  Multitasking is an absolute must.  Every time the phone rings you never know what will be on the other line.  Dispatchers are all too often over looked and not considered a first responder.  Who do you think sends the first responders?  They don’t magically know where to go.  911 dispatchers are the FIRST ones to offer help or assistance, figuring out where you are when you have no idea and being the calm reassuring voice during your storm.

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