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Friday, March 6, 2009


I was having lunch with three public safety officers today and something came to my mind. When there is a Critical Incident and the emergency personnel seek out help I see four things.

1) The department is the organizer of the intervention.

2) The personnel, almost always, say that they are fine and they don't know why they need to participate, at the beginning of the meeting.

3) Once we get started, and everyone is involved, the personnel are okay with, and perfectly willing to participate.

4) After the intervention, the camaraderie with the officers is very close and jovial.

There is, nearly always, resistance to this sort of intervention and I will share my theory with you as to why.

When emergency responders have a critical incident, they are sometimes unwilling to participate in the intervention because it is seen as a weakness to indicate needing help. These personnel are heroes, they help people for a living, and needing help is not seen as part of the role.

I have met thousands of emergency workers, and many of them are truly emotionally stable individuals but, sometimes, when they experience an extraordinary event, that may be deemed as critical, they may experience mild, moderate, or severe signs and symptoms of stress.

Everyday there are police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, and emergency personnel, including doctors and nurses, that experience critical incidents, and then they have signs and symptoms that affect their ability to cope with everyday life.

They experience lack of sleep, too much sleep, anger, irritability, moodiness, increase in unhealthy habits, anxiety, depression, and/or an increase in physical injuries or illnesses.

Sometimes, the most happy, emotionally stable person can experience disruption due to a critical incident, which is totally normal. We are human, we have emotions, and therefore, experience stress.

If you are having a hard time with signs and symptoms of stress, chances are you need assistance. With that assistance you can become you again. What I mean by that is, when we experience this stress, we do not feel like ourselves because our life seems disrupted.

For a free audio on stress management, please visit our store. And for help with your happiness, energy, and vitality, please visit our website and sign up for our free newsletter, and free teleclasses.

Don't forget to have fun and be playful, it is in your nature.