Help for our Heroes: resources for first responders
First responders risk their lives to protect and serve the community, but who helps the heroes after dealing with traumatic events?
The Las Vegas fire chief said his team “encountered a battlefield” while responding to the hundreds of victims shot in the attack outside the Mandalay Bay Casino. Whether it is seeing people bleeding, injured, crying for help, or responding to a house fire, first responders witness the worst.
Here in Gulfport, the fire department partners with an employee assistance program, a completely anonymous counseling service for the firefighters. Gulfport Fire Chief Mike Beyerstedt said,“You are so processed-focused getting through that scene and so later on when you really do have to watch out for some of these things because they may not manifest themselves that exact day, it might be a few days later or something when these problems start to crop up.”
The department also brings in a critical incident stress team to work with the firefighters after dealing with situations with major emotional turmoil.