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”

Emergency Services PTSD and Breach Of Trust – A Partner’s View

by Veronique Moseley

Editor’s Comment: This is a MUST READ for every public safety and emergency service family! 

Ross and I work hard on our project Behind The Seen in the area of prevention of mental health issues among emergency services workers.

We have been told many times that our sessions, our Facebook messages, our articles and conference presentations provide HOPE. Much of our life is an open book, but until last month, the chapters were always somewhat edited to remove high emotional content. That’s been done to avoid triggering others and to provide consistency in our messages when advocating changes to mental health support for emergency services.

Last month, hundreds of followers saw the raw version of Ross during an episode. Mask off. The posting of his text and a video filled with anger and indignation, but more significantly, a deep pain he has not previously expressed publicly that caused a tidal wave of concern and support. Thank you to all those who responded with care: as you read my reflections below you will understand the significant value of genuine support. Continue reading “Emergency Services PTSD and Breach Of Trust – A Partner’s View”

Paid and Volunteer EMS Services: How Do Their Resources Differ?

by Rebecca Heick, PhD

There was always that moment, right before the tones dropped on the pager, that the “air” around it seemed to open up – rousing my mind even if my body still seemed to be sleeping. I never knew what the next minute would hold or what I might be called to do.  What I did know was that whatever the call, whatever the weather, whatever else I might have been doing, I would go.  I was a volunteer, a key piece of the EMS puzzle in my community.  An important link in the chain of survival for neighbors, friends, and even family.  There were nights when it seemed that I would never get to sleep, the pager a constant interruption too much needed rest – and the reason I was dragging when it was time to head to work in the morning.  Other times, our service might go a week without a single call.  The years I spent as an EMS provider (both volunteer and paid) helped to shape me in so many ways – and ignited a passion for ensuring that all EMS providers were as safe and healthy as possible. Continue reading “Paid and Volunteer EMS Services: How Do Their Resources Differ?”