“Gently Used to Irreparably Broken”:A Personal View into First Responders Occupational Stress Injuries is a 2-hour presentation based upon Peaceman Consulting’s program The First Few Steps: Exploring Emotional Intelligence in First Responders. Since there are so many experts in PTSD issues carrying the torch, and I am not one of those experts, this presentation addresses the cumulative stress development for first responders not fortunate enough to have access to the “Police/Fire/EMS” trifecta (ie: Bylaw/ Correctional/ Community Peace Officers, volunteer or paid on call firefighters, EMR’s, etc) benefits.
In this presentation, the presenter speaks of his own experiences as a law enforcement officer, volunteer firefighter and EMR, and shares (with permission) the stories of a few of his friends, past and present professionals in the Protective Services industry. These stories illustrate the need for early diagnosis/ intervention and ongoing support (self, family and friends, colleagues, agency and governmental support). The program speaks, then, to recognizing in ourselves the symptoms of personal and professional stress, and the impact of this stress long term, and to work on prevention and recovery.