Fayette County EMS is at the forefront of redefining how first responders implement trauma-informed care for their personnel in Fayette County.
In light of the Red Door Fund for Mental Health’s February Campaign to spread mental health awareness in our rural region, the Fayette Community Foundation engaged in a conversation with Josh Vandever, Chief of Fayette County EMS, to gain insights into the impact of trauma-informed care on how the local EMS station manages job-related trauma. Acknowledging the pervasive effects of trauma on first responders, Fayette County EMS has joined forces with Tonya Glenn and Associates, a counseling firm specializing in military and first responders. Their approach to trauma-informed care involves extensive peer support classes, branded as Resilience Training, covering topics such as the brain's responses to trauma, healthy coping mechanisms, and effective communication methods.
Chief Vandever has made significant advancements in implementing trauma-informed care within the Fayette County EMS station, ranging from initial training to providing ongoing support after distressing events. The EMS team consistently checks in with one another, ensuring that everyone feels supported and is able to process any traumatic events they may have encountered.
While not every profession encounters the traumas faced by EMS workers, Chief Vandever believes that aspects of this program could prove beneficial for every business.
“If you’re running a sales business and you’ve got a salesman who’s going through a terrible divorce, or whose kid has cancer, or any of the terrible things that people go through every day,” Vandever said, “You can’t just leave that at the door. If you’re going through that with no help, are you really doing the best work you could be doing?”
While our daily experiences may not mirror those of first responders, everyone carries aspects of their lives that cannot be left at the doorstep. As we observe Red Door Month, let's collectively make an effort to check in with and support our friends and neighbors. To learn more about or to support The Red Door Fund for Mental Health, visit www.faycofoundation.com/rdf.