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Psychological and Social Support for Firefighters and Police to Reduce Their Posttraumatic Stress

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The incidents first responders respond to pose great risks to their lives as they risk losing their lives in various incidents. Police officers may respond to a criminal incident, leading to the death of some of the officers in the process. Firemen also bear the same fate as they may try to rescue the victims of the fire, and die in the process. The first responders who survive such incidents experience difficult times after the incident. In cases where a close colleague dies in an incident, the ones left behind experience immense stress.

They suffer from the acknowledgment of the dangerous nature of their work. They get to realize the high chances of losing their lives, thus making them develop strains in their profession. First responders respond to an incident based on the immediately available resources. This means that chances of over-responding or under-responding pose a threat to their work. Given, for example, the absence of adequate detection techniques the first responders may respond in the wrong way, leading to more harm, instead of helping the situation. A post-incident investigation in relation to such a situation may impact negatively on the first responder.

He or she undergoes a lot of stress, especially when the organization blames the officer for the outcome. Role of the media in these incidentsThe media serves as an important tool of communication as it helps in raising awareness of events happening around the world. Consequent to these, when incidents occur, media personnel visit the sites of the incidents to get information about the incident. They seek to find the causes of the incidents, and the actions are taken to mitigate the negative consequences of the incidents in question.

In conducting such inquiries, the media picks on first responders to give information about the incidents, either during or after the incident. When the inquiries get to be done after the incident, first responders get compelled to remember what happened, which could be traumatic. The narration of such memories may lead to negative consequences as some of the first responders may fail to develop the required resilience to overcome the trauma of the incident.

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