First responders such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical services (EMS) professionals provide life-saving services all day, every day. However, the nature of their work puts them in constant risk – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Compounding an already stressful job, first responders face the front lines of the opioid crisis and are being profoundly affected by it.
This webinar provides an overview of how everyday stress and trauma are impacting first responders’ resilience, wellness, and ability to function effectively in their work and home lives. It also explores what can be done to help mitigate the impact and negative effects of these experiences through education, resources, and support. The course, “Vicarious Trauma for First Responders,” provides an in-depth look at trauma and its impact on firefighters, EMS personnel or paramedics, disaster response workers, and law enforcement officers. The course identifies how first responders can become more effective and safe by being trauma-informed and aware of the implications and prevalence of vicarious trauma. The presenter will provide an overview of the course, and the link to the course will be included for webinar participants.
Participants will learn:
- How first responders are affected by the trauma they witness or experience through their work and how the opioid epidemic exacerbates the problem; and
- Some of the steps that state and local systems, as well as agencies and organizations, can take to help mitigate the impact of this trauma on individuals, organizations, and communities.
- Steven M. Click, First Responder Liaison, Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services; and
- Laurie Curtis, MA, Senior Program Director, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.