First Responder Health during COVID 19

Psychological First Aid for COVID-19 Responders

First Responder dealing "with that feeling" video
Gary Vinnacombe's sister, a Mental Health Professional, produced this video.

This is a wonderful video by Tania Glenn PhD. that she did for first responders in her local area in Texas.  This message is spot on and is important information for all family members and first responders.

Please sit for a few minutes, relax and watch the video! So much of what she shares can be implemented into anyone’s life.


Taking care of yourself is not only important to you but, your friends, and your family as well!

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, (6-8hrs.) and avoid alcohol and drugs.

-Meditation Apps to try: Calm-Meditate, Sleep and Relax Android and iOS or Stop, Breathe and Think Android and iOS.

  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy, try a new one.
  • Connect with others. Face time family members and friends. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling and as always, Peer Support is readily available at [email protected]
  • Follow for more content on Facebook;

Jerry Schwartz
CISM Coordinator, Chester County

Here are some things to consider as we run this marathon together.

  • Keep it simple - focus on hydration, nutrition, rest and exercise - add vitamin C and zinc to your daily regimen
  • Spend time with the people you love
  • Keep up on the hobbies that you can do right now
  • Stay on top of the things going on in your life at home
  • Continue to manage your finances

If you are struggling or anticipating a struggle, reach out to your Local peer support team, [email protected] Lend an ear to each other.
We will get through this!

by Dr. Tania Glenn and Associates

Jerry Schwartz
CISM Coordinator, Chester County
Former Fire Captain, BCFD
Certified Peer Support Specialist
Senior Chaplain-Emergency Services
Chaplain, Fire Chiefs Assn.
Chaplain, WCFD

"Everyone Goes Home!"
Twitter @ChescoCISM

NEED HELP? Chester County Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM) and Additional First Responder Resources

The Chester County Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM) is a trained peer-to-peer support group available to support first responders of all disciplines.   CISM team members are available 24/7 and can be reached anonymously by calling 9-1-1 and asking to speak to a CISM team member. 

The CISM team can also assist with contacting available external resources for first responders in need. 

Other ways to reach CISM:

Jerry Schwartz
CISM Coordinator

Twitter @ChescoCISM

Email: [email protected]


First Responder Helpline: 1-888-731-FIRE (3473)
Any first responders can call this number and speak with a live person about substance abuse related to PTSD.  This is available to Fire, Police, EMS, Corrections and Military Veterans.  They can also link to nationwide resources. 

CopLine: 1-800-267-5463, available for the United States and Canada.
CopLine is the first INTERNATIONAL law enforcement officers' hotline that is manned by retired law enforcement officers (Non-mandatory reporters). Retired law enforcement officers are trained in active listening and bring the knowledge and understanding of the many psychosocial stressors that officers go through both on and off the job. Active/Retired officers and/or their families can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and be assured that there is a trained retired officer on the other end of the line whether the caller is calling while on duty or off. The line is strictly confidential, the caller can remain anonymous and there is no fear of punitive repercussions from initiating the call.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 150 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.

You can schedule a CISM virtual meeting for your organization. See CISM Meeting  for details.

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