Secondary Trauma among First Responders

Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technician (EMT) or paramedics, collectively referred to as first responders, are routinely called on to respond in situations involving car accidents, homicides, suicides, abuse, neglect, severely ill individuals, or families that are in crisis. First responders are duty bound to try to intervene in these emergencies. Even though the first responder may not experience a direct personal threat, simply being present at a traumatic event may cause the first responder to have a stress reaction. Responding to the injury or death of others, with no direct threat to the safety or well-being of the first responder is an indirect traumatic exposure. This indirect traumatic exposure can lead to a stress response known as secondary traumatization and has been referred ...

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