A program to help those on the front lines of emergencies heal from trauma is getting a test run locally.

Firstline is a 14 week course tailored towards police officers, fire fighters, and first responders who may be suffering from the effects of trauma. It’s being taught by the organization that runs Reboot, which aims to help combat veterans suffering from the same affliction. Reboot reports that 22 veterans commit suicide daily, but there have no such cases from their 2,500 graduates.

Reboot’s Dave Ferris is helping launch Firstline and believes it’s now time to reach out to those working in emergency services. He said there are an increasing number of suicides within police, fire, and first responders. “The problem is they face constant trauma, but they’re not talking to anybody and their not sharing that trauma. (It’s like) because sometimes, even in the military, if we acknowledge that trauma, we’re acknowledging weakness, and that’s just not true. And that’s what traps us in that cycle. We have to get rid of that stigma that accompanies it. Just because I’m admitting I have trauma in my life, doesn’t admit that I am a problem, or am weak, or anything of that nature. It just says I recognize myself as a human being.”

Ferris said the Firstline material will not be radically different in its concept from Reboot’s, but it will be different in its application. Being a beta test site unit, the work they do will be monitored carefully to see how the curriculum works. They will be using curriculum from author and Reverend Chris Adsit who wrote the Combat Healing Manual and the First Responders Healing Manual. The program is slated to begin on February 12th at a location Ferris said they hope to have confirmed soon. There is no cost to participate and childcare and meals will be provided. For more information or to register, visit the link below. (MK)