As EMS Leaders we’ve all experienced it. Although it may be varying degrees of stress and much difference circumstances, it has impacted us all. Many may know of people who have never been the same afterwards or some who have taken their own lives. It is up to us as EMS Leaders to be the change and educate ourselves to recognize the un-seen.
Just because we may not have had support in the past does not mean that we as EMS Leaders can’t provide it and protect our providers today.
If you are not in a position of Leadership within your EMS organization, you still play a critical role in recognizing when your colleagues may need help or need to talk.
What can we do as leaders to protect our future EMS providers?
In 1986, Mrs. Johanna Flanigan became Co-Founder of the Reduce Emergency Stress Team (REST), a volunteer Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team which is still very active in the Capital District of New York today.
Stress Debriefing & Taking Care of Our Own
“No one ever knows when a Critical Incident will occur. No one ever knows what call might effect them in a negative way. What we DO know, is that any reaction to a critical incident is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.”
Her EMS background began as a member of the North Greenbush Ambulance, Rensselaer County in 1970 and immediately started volunteering as a dispatcher the same year. She has held positions as a NYS EMT Instructor, American Heart Association CPR Instructor, Chairman of the Regional Emergency Medical Organization and eventually Chairperson of the NYS EMS Council.
Her professional RN Career included 29 years in various Registered Nurse and Management Positions at the Albany Medical Center including Emergency Department Nurse Manager and later the first Emergency Medicine Outreach Coordinator at the Albany Medical Center. Mrs. Flanigan served as High School Nurse at the Averill Park High School August, 2003 and retired June, 2015.
The Code Green Campaign
The Code Green Campaign’s mission is: To bring awareness to the high rates of mental health issues in first responders and reduce them. To eliminate the stigma that prevents people from admitting these issues and asking for help. To educate first responders on self and peer care and to lobby for systemic change in how mental health issues are addressed by first responder agencies. www.CodeGreenCampaign.org
Safe Call Now Hotline
Safe Call Now is a resource for public safety employees to speak confidentially with officers, former law enforcement officers, public safety professionals and/or mental healthcare providers who are familiar with your line of work. MAKE A SAFE CALL NOW: 206-459-3020