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Firefighters & PTSD

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Posted On: January 22,2003          Updated On: January 21, 2003
İ Terence T. Gorski, 2001

Critical Incident Stress Debriefing

Throughout the country, and in the U.S., we are constantly being challenged and confronted with making decisions and attempting to cope with stress that literally and potentially has drastic effects and alters peoples lives daily. At best this has been very difficult to understand, never mind change. Particularly with Emergency Medical Technicians (E.M.T. 's), Firefighters, Police, and Medical Personnel. There is no escape or relief, and no geographical boundaries that someone can escape to.

Everyone is touched, one way or another. Most stress tends to be cumulative rather than a singular incident or event, which appears to have developed for no apparent reason. Consistently dealing with stress often causes people to acquire ineffective coping skills and often progressively high risk behaviors. This usually results in poor decision making, bad choices and a strain on our thinking and performance. This can evolve into a conspiracy of silence, that characterizes Firefighters reactions to stress and trauma, that keeps the ethos alive.

The prevalence rate for diagnosable Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for Firefighters in Toronto was 16.5% in February 1995 and still growing, compared to 3% in the general population, and 1% higher than PTSD rates of Viet Nam Veterans. In the same study, it was also demonstrated that 78% of these Firefighters reported more symptoms than the general population. In essence, we all need to begin to create and continue to develop more information and skills to respond to this never ending concern. We propose one of many responses is prevention and intervention programs for all of our high risk occupations

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Addiction - A Biopsychosocial Model

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Relapse Prevention Counseling (RPC)

Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT)

Addiction-Free Pain Management (APM)

Food Addiction

Training & Consultation: www.tgorski.com, www.cenaps.com, www.relapse.org  Gorski-CENAPS, 17900 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL 60430, 708-799-5000 

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