Monday, April 14, 2008
Crisis counseling is sometimes overlooked in all of the talk about emergency preparedness and response. It is far more interesting to speak about preventing terrorists attacks or planning for the next natural disaster versus dealing with the aftermath. Yet more often than not civilian and public sector organizations are left scrambling with organizing the necessary counseling services for the survivors of a crisis. More importantly, it usually takes a loss of life to cause agencies and employers to realize they need to provide some type of counseling to family members. Colerain (a suburb of Cincinnati) just lost two firefighters last week. The out pouring of support from the community and local firefighters has been nothing less then overwhelming. More importantly, specially trained counselors were sent to help the surviving firefighters and their families deal with the loss of their fallen comrades. These counselors are actual firefighters or EMS personnel, people who can relate to the daily grind and stressors associated with the job. Other communities have similar programs and the practice would be applicable in the private sector as well. The military has dealt with the grief and stressed suffered by survivors and their families for several years now. It is not only a debt that is owed to those that have lost loved ones, it is also a debt owed to society in general.