Advantages of a First Responder Assistance Program

A first responder assistance program can benefit emergency medical technicians who suffer from trauma because of their job. Regularly facing medical emergencies, catastrophic injuries, and even deaths extracts a severe mental, physical, and psychological toll that most of us can’t begin to imagine. For many, access to a first responder assistance program is the only thing that enables them to continue their jobs.

The Effects of Work-Related Pressures on First Responders 

Stress and trauma affect people in different ways. Therefore, even first responders vary considerably in how they react to work-related pressures and how it affects them. It can make it difficult to determine whether or not a particular person requires therapy.

First Responder Assistance Program for EMTs

There are several symptoms among EMTs and first responders that routinely face stress, tragedies, and trauma on the job. These include: 

● Difficulty sleeping

● Impaired concentration and mental function 

● Inability to make decisions 

● Feelings of loneliness and isolation

● Withdrawal from friends and family 

● Decreased interest in previously enjoyable activities 

● Anger and irritability

● Depression 

● Emotional detachment

Not all first responders develop or exhibit these symptoms. Some may seem unfazed and outwardly ‘normal’, even in the face of repeated exposure to tragic incidents. Even so, these often have a cumulative effect that leads to some degree of impairment or breakdown. 

How Therapy Can Help First Responders 

Therapy could provide many benefits to first responders dealing with stress and trauma. For one thing, therapists can help patients gain a more balanced view of their situation, providing a different perspective on whatever troubles them. 

First responders often feel isolated and misunderstood, with no one to share their thoughts or feelings with. Moreover, by talking with a therapist, they may sense that someone understands and sympathizes with them. 

Therapy can also help “re-center” troubled EMTs, reminding them that they have a life outside their job. For first responders who feel trapped and isolated in their roles, remembering that they are much more than their jobs could help lift their spirits. 

Most importantly, therapists can help first responders manage the challenges of their jobs more effectively. For professionals that cannot‒or will not‒leave their jobs, learning how to manage these difficulties is necessary to be able to return to work.  

The First Responder Assistance Program Can Help Families Too 

First responders aren’t the only ones that can benefit from therapy. Even their families‒who often face related problems‒can gain comfort and perspective from their loved ones’ treatment. 

One of the most distressing aspects of the trauma and tragedy that first responders face is that their families are often also affected. As the job stresses build up, many professionals cannot separate their professional and personal lives. It frequently leads to trouble at home because of the pressures they already experience at work. 

Having the family participate in a therapeutic treatment program helps improve communication between affected members. Therapists can provide a more objective view of the group dynamic and valuable insight into fostering a healthier and more mutually beneficial environment at home. 

Ultimately, therapy helps first responders recover and heal from the challenges they face as part of their jobs. And when the family participates in the process, they can also join in the path toward healing. 

About Provident Insurance Programs

With roots dating back to 1902, Provident Insurance Programs is a program administrator that serves paid and volunteer firefighters in addition to emergency medical responders with numerous custom-tailored insurance programs. We’ve also extended our expertise and experience to offer benefit plans and coverages to participant groups as well as Transportation Benefits. We are committed to continuing to provide superior customer service, and would be happy to speak with you to provide further information. Give us a call today at (855) 201-8880 to speak with one of our representatives.