Crisis as Opportunity – Critical Incident Stress Management

by Bob Rabe

A college professor once asked the class, “How heavy is a glass of water?” The professor received several answers, but the professor replied, “The weight doesn’t matter, it depends on how long you try to hold it. The longer you hold it, the heavier it becomes. That is, until you put it down and rest.”

Stress is the same way. If we carry stress, especially after a critical incident, the stress can become increasingly heavy, if not dealt with properly. The stress may lead to a crisis.

According to the Chinese symbol for crisis, it is made up from two other symbols, which are danger and opportunity. We can collapse under the weight of the crisis (danger), or we can learn to develop new skills (opportunity), to meet it head on. Continue reading “Crisis as Opportunity – Critical Incident Stress Management”

Warrior’s Heart: A Healing Place for Veterans and First Responders

by Don Prince

Don Prince
Don Prince

A very close friend of mine encouraged me to visit the Warrior’s Heart website, and review them as a potential first responder facility for addiction and post traumatic stress. I called the 800 number and was pleasantly surprised to be speaking with Josh, a co-founder. He gave me a clear and concise description of their mission as well an overview of the day-to-day activities at Warrior’s Heart. I knew in my heart that I was talking with someone genuine. This place is something very special.

After a successful career with treatment facilities in Las Vegas, Josh Lannon and his wife, Lisa – a former police officer from Las Vegas – decided to open Warrior’s Heart, a place specific to veterans and first responders. They are down to earth couple with two young children. Continue reading “Warrior’s Heart: A Healing Place for Veterans and First Responders”

The Lights in Shadow Land

by Careen Condrotte

Once upon a time, the stories will tell
About a place here on Earth, between heaven and hell.
Where one need not sleep, to have the bad dreams
Because the flashbacks seem real, the smells and the screams.

For despite valiant efforts, sometimes they lose.
For some there are answers, but not many clues.
The cards stacked against them, the odds not very good
No… they didn’t give up, but did all that they could.

Everyone somber, a tear here and there.
Others are angry, some had The Thousand Yard stare.
“Welcome to Shadow Land”, a voice whispered softly.
“It’s a dark place to be, and the shadows are costly.” Continue reading “The Lights in Shadow Land”

Who Helps Those That Help Us

by Steven Gerlang, EMT
Central Islip Hauppauge Volunteer Ambulance

Steven Gerlang
Steven Gerlang

Our emergency service workers; Police Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians: psychological well-being is often taken for granted and over looked. Studies have shown that there are roughly 18 to 20 members of our Emergency Services that take their own lives each day here in the United States (the exact amount is unknown as many of these deaths go down as “accidental overdoses” or “accidental weapon discharges”). More services should be offered to these individuals that we expect so much from. What can be done about it and why hasn’t the media stirred public outrage over these numbers? What causes these men and women to feel so isolated and alone that they decide to take their own lives?

The mental well-being of our nation’s first responders goes unnoticed and untreated: the media would rather keep us occupied with the circus of the current presidential debates; than the current growing suicide epidemic facing our nation’s bravest and finest. Why do we as a country look at mental illness as a taboo? We are one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to technology and medicine; yet we ignore or stigmatize those we entrust with public safety and security for seeking help after they have seen too much of humanities worst. This stigmatization in our country is one of the key reasons many of our first responders do not seek help for mental health issues they may experience from the traumas they experience; one of the fears they have is being ostracized by their co-workers or employers for asking for help. By being afraid to seek help, these brave men and woman are left feeling isolated, alone and helpless with their emotions. Continue reading “Who Helps Those That Help Us”

The Tyranny of Feeling

by Ian Adams

K-9 Officer Adams and Pyro
K-9 Officer Adams and Pyro

During a class last week, a lady made the comment: “That’s the problem with police, you don’t show enough feeling. You don’t feel enough.” She’s adopted without examination that particularly dangerous leftist idea that this nation’s protectors are inhuman security robots, walking through the world without experiencing it. Her assumption that those who purchase peace through violence are somehow less deserving. Anyway, I stewed over the weekend on it, and wrote the following this morning. Continue reading “The Tyranny of Feeling”

Press Release

December 3, 2015
Press Release

CONTACT
Peggy Sweeney
The Sweeney Alliance
peggy@sweeneyalliance.org
sweeneyalliance.net

The Sweeney Alliance Announces New Appointments to Their Board of Directors

Kerrville, Texas – Peggy Sweeney, founder and president of the Texas-based, non-profit company, the Sweeney Alliance, is pleased to announce the appointment of two new directors to its board of directors. The new appointees are Peter Billera of Firefighter Mortgages and Reverend Bill Minson of TUDAY Ministries.

Mr. Billera began serving his community as a volunteer firefighter with the Jericho (NY) Fire Department in 1987.  In 1992, he was hired by the Palm Beach County (FL) Fire-Rescue where he served as a career FF/Paramedic until he sustained a career ending injury.  In 1996, Peter began originating home loans for firefighters, first responders, and their family members.  It subsequently evolved into what is now Firefighter Mortgages where, along with some brother firefighters, he serves members of the public safety community nationwide.

Reverend Minson formed TUDAY Ministries in 1979 to motivate, inform and inspire youth. The last decade proved to be the cornerstone of TUDAY Ministries thirty-four year Gospel ministry of service. He served as a Red Cross and Salvation Army chaplain following the 9/11 attacks, and continues to provide spiritual care, counsel and advocacy support to 9/11, Oklahoma City and Katrina families. Bill produced and directed the documentary SAVE THE BRAVE on YouTube, which helped passage in the US Congress of the Zadroga Bill to assist sick and dying 9/11 Responders and their families.

“We strive to build a very strong leadership foundation, and couldn’t be more pleased with these appointments. Both of these individuals, with diverse experiences and backgrounds, have a passionate commitment to serving the needs of first responders and their families because they understand the many personal and professional struggles that today’s emergency service and public safety professionals must deal with. I am very honored to have Peter and Reverend Bill working with me and as members of our board of directors,” said Peggy Sweeney, founder and president.

About the Sweeney Alliance
The Sweeney Alliance, established in 2002 as a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to providing training, resources and financial support for emergency responders, public safety personnel, and their families in North America. For more information about the Sweeney Alliance, please visit http://www.sweeneyalliance.net.

A Quiet Moment, God is in Control

by Chaplain Kathy B. Thibodaux

Chaplain Kathy Thibodaux
Chaplain Kathy Thibodaux

“God is in control.” This is such a simple statement, yet one that exhibits a deepening faith, which requires that I trust in the Lord with all my heart for every situation and circumstance. God has a master plan, a higher goal and a special purpose for my life.

His ways and thoughts are not my ways and thoughts. I may even fail to comprehend the path that I am following; but I must not lean on my own understanding. In all ways, I am to acknowledge Him for He is God, the Creator. He knew me before I was formed inside the very womb of my mother. He knows my thoughts before I ever speak a word. Nothing I do is hidden from His eyes. Continue reading “A Quiet Moment, God is in Control”

I Loved Them, Too

by Tabitha Hill

Tabitha Hill
Tabitha Hill

You don’t know me, and you probably never will. If you were ever to think of me it would be because my face is a blurry memory of the worst day of your life. It was the day you found out you lost her. Or the day you found out he would never be the same again. It was the day you forgot how to think straight and you learned just how many tears you could cry before you were empty.

It was the day you barely remember in some ways, but you’ll never be able to forget. You see it in your dreams, in color, in 3D. I was there that day. I saw you walk in with your husband. Saw you hugging your loved ones and holding hands. I saw you stand in a circle praying desperately. I heard your sobs and I hurt for you. My heart broke so deeply for you. Continue reading “I Loved Them, Too”