First responders – EMTs, firefighters, and law enforcement – are exposed to stress and trauma as a regular part of their jobs. Their commitment to serve involves caring for the sick, injured, dying and victims of crime and disaster. As caregivers in sometimes extreme adversity, the impact of their work can lead to post-traumatic stress. They need to learn and practice skills for decompressing and resolving emotional stress and use effective self-care. Unfortunately, many first responders see themselves as weak if they admit that their work has negatively affected them. Culture change and acceptance of their humanity are needed.

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