Tag Archives: first responders

Halifax Police Chief’s PTSD Among Stories In Book About Public Protectors

Chief of Halifax Regional Police Jean-Michel (J.M.) Blais
Chief of Halifax Regional Police Jean-Michel (J.M.) Blais
The chief of Halifax Regional Police opens up about his battle with post-traumatic stress disorder in journalist Janice Landry’s new book, The Price We Pay.

Chief J.M. Blais was diagnosed in 2012 but told Landry of his plight during a June 2014 interview that took place shortly after three RCMP officers were killed in Moncton.

“I’m deeply humbled that the chief would feel comfortable enough with me to open up and make this statement,” Landry said in an interview.

Landry’s father was a career firefighter who, decades ago, saved an eight-week-old infant in a horrible house fire in Halifax. Landry’s book includes an interview with a man who came forward to say he accidentally started that fire as a young boy.

“The whole reason I started working in this area was to honour my late father and his peers. I’m trying to spark discussion.”

The emotional fallout of the Moncton killings may have played a role in Blais opening up to her, Landry said.

Blais, who was a Mountie for 25 years before he switched to Halifax Regional Police, spoke to her of more than a dozen officer funerals he’s attended and three challenging trips to Haiti.

Landry hopes her book shines a light on people who face incredible challenges in their professions and elsewhere.

Read more in The Chronicle Herald.

Toddler Reunited With Victorian Police Officer Captured Helping Him In Heartwarming Viral Photo

Constable Timpson and Flint together again. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Constable Timpson and Flint together again. Picture: Alex Coppel.

Knox Constable Ben Timpson was handed two-year-old Flint Strange as emergency services worked for an hour to free the toddler’s mother from under a car. Constable Timpson said Flint was most excited to see the air ambulance and waved goodbye to his mum as she was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Yesterday the pair were reunited as Flint’s mother Jennifer continues to recover in hospital.

Ms Strange thanked Constable Timpson, saying on the day she felt a big sense of relief when she saw Flint safe and happy.

Read the full story in Herald Sun.

Australasian Rescue Challenge 2015 To Be Held Next Week In Alice Springs

Held in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, for the first time, the 2015 Australasian Rescue Challenge, aptly named ‘Outback Rescue’ will focus on community education and highlighting the challenges of road crash rescue response in remote locations.

The NT Fire and Rescue Service invites you to Alice for the challenge and encourages you to take advantage of the tourism opportunities in what is undoubtedly the most unique part of Australia.

The ARC brings together rescuers from SES, fire and rescue and mines rescue organisation. The annual challenge attracts teams from all states in Australia, several teams from New Zealand as well as a number of teams from Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Australasian Rescue Challenge 2015 would be held at the Greatorex Pavilion of the Alice Springs showgrounds on 23-26 July 2015.

Read more on Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service website.

Source: www.pfes.nt.gov.au

Ontario Paramedics Protest For Better PTSD Support

Southwestern Ontario paramedics are rallying together to call for greater resources for colleagues dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

More than 40 unionized paramedics from Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent protested outside the County of Lambton administration building in Wyoming Wednesday to raise awareness about the province-wide hot-button topic.

“On a day-to-day basis, paramedics are exposed to a lot of different incidents,” local union steward Chris Stolte said Wednesday. “You may go from a home childbirth to an hour later going to someone who has passed away at home and having to tell the patient’s wife of 50 years, ‘I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do for that individual.’

“You go from one extreme to another extreme,” he said. “It does take its toll on everybody.”

About 22 per cent of paramedics will be affected by PTSD during the course of their careers, according to statistics provided by SEIU Healthcare, the union representing Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent EMS workers.

Read more in The Observer.

Source: www.theobserver.ca

Ombudsman Investigates Toronto Paramedics’ Handling Of PTSD

The city’s ombudsman is investigating how Toronto Paramedic Services deals with employees with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fiona Crean said she decided to launch the investigation after receiving around a dozen complaints from paramedics in the past few weeks about operational stress injuries.

The ombudsman’s office says stress injuries include “a range of persistent psychological problems triggered by on-the-job activities, including anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug dependency and PTSD.”

The ombudsman made the rare move of making her investigation public to urge paramedics and staffers to contact her office.

“PTSD really lives in the shadows and so I wanted to encourage paramedics to come forward and tell their stories and also to communicate to them our confidential process,” Crean said.

Read more in the Toronto Sun.

Source: www.torontosun.com

Today, Tomorrow, Or Next Year? Coping With PTSD In EMS

Most of the time, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics respond to non-urgent emergencies but there are also “rough” calls that are traumatic and disturbing. In recognition of National EMS Week and National Mental Health Month, EMTs must take a moment to realize that such traumatic calls may not bother them today, tomorrow, or next week.

Public safety professionals must realize that they are only human and there will be scenes and calls that are too graphic to forget and may have a deep impact on them. Instead of allowing these situations to haunt one’s psyche and impact one’s life, seek support from a mental health professional—it is a sign of strength to ask for help.

Read the full story on In Public Safety website from the American Military University.

Source: inpublicsafety.com

Blindsided: Retirement Is Not Always Kind To Cops

The path of police retirement doesn’t always lead to the welcoming arms of leisure and recreation. It can be fraught with unwanted mental health surprises.

Forty retired police commit suicide per year, according to BadgeofLife.com, a site dedicated to arresting the growth of these police suicide statistics.

While young policemen see retirement as a distant ceremony in the future and a few nebulous dreams of “leisure time,” retiring the badge can actually be a huge psychological blow. “The last trauma,” Badge of Life calls it, saying, “Few departments recognize the tremendous impact retirement in general has on an officer.”

Read the full story here.

Source: americanaddictioncenters.org

Connecticut Police Could See Expanded PTSD Compensation Despite Opposition

Late Thursday and early into Friday the Connecticut Senate debated and eventually passed a measure that would increase workers’ compensation for cancer diagnoses and post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders.

“What it will do is allow people to go out and feel inspired as police officers, going out into the field and facing the things that we do and seeing the things we do,” said Connecticut State Police Union President Andy Matthews.

South Windsor Town Manager Matthew Galligan, who serves as the current President of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities said “now because somebody walks into a crime scene, we’re going to pay through the nose for the rest of our lives”.

Source: www.nbcconnecticut.com

Ed: Mr Galligan would be better served educating himself before opening his mouth again.