Stress First Aid/Critical Incident Stress Management Presentation to Firefighters
Rocky Mountain Complex Incident Management Team 1 was grateful for the opportunity to work with the Cambridge Fire Department and several community members to begin the process of stress recovery. Safety Officer Todd Legler, Deputy Incident Commander Mark Giacoletto, a representative from the Nebraska State Critical Response Team, and a local chaplain presented and provided resources, for those in attendance, on stress first aid.
Stress First Aid, Peer Support, and Self-Care are critical elements not only for first responders, but for anyone. Stress reactions are a normal part of life, and they impact each and every one of us. Our stress reactions are ours to own and no one else’s. Just because you are having a negative stress reaction does not mean that anything is wrong with you, or that you are weak, or that you are incapable. Stress First Aid is a framework to address and cope with stress reactions before they become a larger issue or build a bridge to needing a higher level of care. Allowing yourself the patience, grace, and time to process your stress reactions is self-care and takes effort. Building a support network of peers that are non-judgmental, that meet you where you are, and hold you accountable is key to help navigate negative stress reactions and move toward a place of wellness. “I have witnessed firsthand with my son how having these elements in place can move a person from the darkest of places to a place of wellness, given time. As a result, I have also identified my own vulnerabilities so that I can continue to be the warrior and provide servant leadership,” says Safety Officer Todd Legler, about the stress first aid process. For more information about stress first aid please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/employee-services/stress-first-aid