Stress management spreads: measures to prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and mitigate other effects of stress are increasingly being introduced by brigades. Here, models and training regimes are discussed.(Protecting The Firefighter)

It is now well recognised that individuals may suffer from emotional reactions following traumatic experiences such as re current nightmares, intrusive thoughts or memories of the incident. These tend to be accompanied by strong emotional reactions like fear; distress, grief and anger, individuals with these reactions often find themselves avoiding reminders of the incident and being unable to talk about their memories or their feelings.

For most people these reactions tend to be relatively short term, but for some, the reactions may persist and become seriously debilitating, a disorder known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

People with PTSD may withdraw from others, start to drink heavily or experience what seems like a personality change. All these problems can put a great strain on the person's relationships and impair their ability to function at work and at home.

Firefighters are more likely to experience traumatic incidents than the general population, because that is the nature of the job, and although training may help firefighters to prepare for certain types of incidents it is extremely difficult to prepare anyone tier the emotional reactions described above. However, it is now recognised that the sooner an individual is able to access help, after developing symptoms of PTSD, the less likely they are to develop chronic long term problems which could lead to medical retirement. …

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