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Peer support works and can save your career

Mental health is an important issue in EMS. Research shows that first responders are at as much as 10 times the risk of suicide as the general public. According to the CDC a first responder dies by suicide ever 4 days in the US. This session will explore the brain chemistry of stress, the effect that stress has on memory formation, and if not properly addressed how that can lead to mental health issues including PTSD. The design and implementation of a peer support team is described and the peer support team response to a real world aviation incident is reviewed.

David Wuertz

David Wuertz


  1. Describe the need for peer support and mental health in EMS

  2. List 3 components of an effective peer support team

3. Understand the value added to an organization by a peer support team

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