Peace4Tarpon Hosts First Responders Summit

The Help Yourself to Help Others Summit for First Responders was held on the St. Petersburg College - Tarpon Springs’ campus on Saturday, April 30, 2016.  Peace4Tarpon partnered with the college to bring this free event to area first responders: law enforcement, fire rescue, emergency medical technicians, providers, students and community.  

Associate Provost Rod Davis welcomed the participants to the campus and Peace4Tarpon Director Robin Saenger opened the summit by thanking the first responders for their service and sharing the importance of understanding trauma from a first responder’s perspective.

Our first responders are encountering people on some of their worst days and many of those days are horrific. Our responders must deal with physical needs at the scene, manage the emotions of the clients as well as their own and be ready to repeat this time and time again. Understanding the dynamic of trauma, both currently unfolding and events that may have occurred before, can be such a powerful tool for getting through these difficult occurrences.  Building resilience is also paramount for these front-line workers to keep functioning and responding day after day.

This summit focused on providing these tools to help understand the origin of trauma, adverse childhood experiences, the impact of secondary trauma, and how to combat compassion fatigue and burnout to enhance resiliency.

There were three presentations:  

  • Captain Darren Ivey of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department presented The Journey to Becoming Trauma Informed. Ivey has been instrumental in bringing trauma-informed policies and programs to his department and spreading the word to others. 
  • Dr. Bob Arnold engaged the audience with the Supporting Others in the Aftermath of a Traumatic Experience.
  • Tiffany Kline, Tampa Fire Rescue occupational health nurse supervisor, provided resiliency techniques in the Helping Yourself to Help Others:  Psychological Survival in Emergency Services presentation.  

A panel discussion with the presenters concluded the summit and was led by Laurie Elbow, senior manager of clinical services, Suncoast Center, Inc.  This gave participants the opportunity to obtain follow-up information and ask questions. 

The following Monday, Ivey presented a more intimate and in-depth four-hour training, which was well received. Our first responders provide a very important but difficult service to our communities and providing the most up-to-date, pertinent information is our way of supporting them in their efforts.  

For additional information, please contact Wendy Sedlacek at wendy.sedlacek@lchc.us.

 

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Thanks so much for this great article. I am glad people are reaching out to FIRST RESPONDERS TO get them involved in the COMMUICATION LOOP to become more TRUAMA INFORMED at the level within the LOCAL CULTURE.

 

Rick Herranz

Retired first responder

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