“Post-traumatic Stress Injuries Among Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers”
As part of their work, emergency first responders, such as paramedics and emergency medical dispatchers are exposed daily to traumatic events. These traumatic events can have many impacts on mental health, such as acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Research has shown that intervening early after exposure to a traumatic event helps to identify people at risk and to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder. The Psychological First Aid approach originally developed for mass traumas, is an intervention advocated by international experts today following a traumatic event. However, this approach is still very little studied, especially when it is part of an organization of emergency first responders. It therefore still lacks scientific validity. The main objective of this research will be to assess whether the Psychological First Aid program provided by peer-support workers helps to reduce the initial distress caused by traumatic events and to foster short- and long-term adaptive functioning and coping.
Psychological first aid
PFA responders (peer support workers) are trained to deliver 8 core actions: contact and engagement, safety and comfort, stabilization, information gathering, practical assistance, connection with social supports, information on coping, and linkage with collaborative services
Usual organisational intervention
Emergency intervention by workplace psychologist and limited therapeutic sessions with employee aid program
Post-traumatic Stress Injuries Among Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers