WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — When tragedy occurs, first responders jump into action. Oftentimes, upon arrival to an emergency call, the devastation has already taken place.
“We see things that are not normal for people to see on a daily,” Shannon Reed, operations division chief for Sedgwick County EMS, said. “You’re doing everything that your training has taught you. You don’t get emotionally invested, or you at least try not to, and then after the call is when it really hits you.”
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has a full-time wellness unit made up of three people who work with a permanent therapist designated to employees who find themselves dealing with PTSD after experiencing a catastrophic outcome.
“One of the very first things that we do is we deploy peer support team members to check on those who have worked the scene,” said Wendy Hummel, health and wellness manager for the SCSO. “We do know that everyone handles these situations differently and that the support of people that know the job the best has proven to be very helpful, especially in the structure that we utilize.”
Finding activities non-work related is recommended as a way to help decompress after experiencing a catastrophic outcome.