There’s a reason that those who arrive to an incident are called “first responders” and not “immediate responders.” No form of first responder can be where they’re needed instantaneously…if you’re in an urban environment a first responder might be close but have traffic to deal with. If they’re rural there might be no traffic but considerable distance.
So what happens when you, as the first responder, are waiting for a fellow first responder? What happens when you or a partner are wounded but still must wait even a short time for medics to arrive? This time, which has come to be known as the “golden hour” in the military, is important not just for the physical well-being of the wounded, but also for their (and your) mental well-being.
For yourself – When you’re alone and wounded it can be a horrible feeling. It’s important to be able to keep yourself alive physically, and that can be helped by keeping yourself healthy mentally as well. Learn what to do to stay alive until help arrives.
For citizens – When citizens are wounded, the mere presence of someone in uniform can give them hope. So it’s important to be able to assuage their fears and know exactly what to say when you’re helping them through the situation.
For a teammate – This can be the hardest wound at all to bear if you’re close to your partner, fellow officer, or co-worker. You might be prepared for seeing the wound of a stranger, but not of someone you actually know. It’s important to be ready with exercises that will allow you and them to survive both physically and mentally.
It’s important to have peer support training before the need for critical incident stress management begins. Be prepared yourself and be able to prepare others by contacting us here.