Since our inception, Reviving Responders have been dedicated to making a positive change to the culture of EMS.
Our group started as a project assignment for an Ambulance Service Manager course, but it has blossomed into a group who is dedicated to changing the culture of EMS.
Suicide rates for EMS personnel are on a steep rise in our country as well as many others around the world. We set out to find out the root causes of this trend. Through a survey we had significant success with determining some of the underlying causes of why EMS are predisposed to choosing suicide as a coping mechanism with stress, but we want to do more... We want to attempt to find and fix the holes in the support system and the culture of EMS that has lead to our darkest hour.
In the early spring of 2015, seven individuals from six states were placed together in a group during an Ambulance Service Manager (ASM) conference. Together we set out on a journey that would change our passion for our careers. Our group consisted of: Cord Abbott from Texas, Erich Barber from Colorado, Brian Burke from Oregon, John Harvey from Kansas, Chad Newland from California, Monique Rose from Nevada and Amy Young from Texas.
Together the 7 of us focused on a subject very close to our hearts: suicide in EMS. We developed an incredibly successful survey focusing on stress and suicide in EMS with 4,021 EMS personnel responding. With this unbelievable survey response we knew that we were delving into a subject that hit home with our fellow EMS family. We gathered and analyzed the data into a paper ©, which we have plans to present a several conferences you can find below.
Our group, Reviving Responders, are now wanting to take the next step... changing the culture of EMS. We are dedicated to addressing the suicide and mental health issues affecting EMS professionals. We want to identify the scope of the problem and work to develop and implement a variety of solutions. We believe it will take a multimodal approach to effectively address the issues that prevent some EMS professionals from living a happy and productive life. Safe Call Now has developed a first responder specific hotline for those in crisis (which has been no easy task), and The code green campaign has started shedding light on this topic by spreading awareness of mental health issues with their proficiency in social media.
We know that the mental wellbeing of our first responders is a problem and we know we need more awareness and more education on this issue, but the question right now is how? Reviving Responders is filling that niche, we are dedicated to developing a sustainable, multidisciplinary and highly trained research workforce, with a particular focus on supporting mental well being in first response providers. Our ultimate mission is to eliminate the stigma of mental health issues and to drastically decrease the number of suicides among first responders by digging deep into this problem with hard evidence and scientific based research. This is a multifocal problem and will need many organizations and individuals to make an impact, from those providing awareness, to those providing education, to those finding what the problems with this system truly are and thus developing methods to repair them, that's where we come in; but Reviving Responders needs your help, please donate and spread the word.
What We've Achieved
- Successfully developed a survey about EMS stress and suicide, with responses from 4,021 EMS personal from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, District of Columbia and Guam.
- We have received overwhelming responses from Dr. Jay Fitch and Associates about our Research
- Reviving Responders together with Pat Songer, Administrative Director, EMS Chief at Humboldt General Hospital, and Mike Touchstone, President of NEMSMA, created a 21 person committee - NEMSMA Practitioner Mental Health and Wellbeing Committee, without whom we would not be where we are today.
- 501(c)3 status approved in 2016
- Winner of the James O. Page Leadership Award
- Nomination for Jesse H. Neal Award
- Poster presentation at Pinnacle 2015
- Power Seminar at Pinnacle 2016
- Amy Young awarded Jerry Love Leadership Award at American Ambulance Association in 2015
- Article publication in JEMS, October 2015 issue, Cover Story
- Presentation at EMS Today 2016 conference
- EMS1 article, March 2015
- American Ambulance Association Blog Post, Spotlight: Reviving Responders Suicide Prevention
- EMS Garage Episode 190: Provider Mental Health What are we Afraid of? featuring Monique Rose
- National EMS Safety Summit, 2015, Denver, CO. Panel Presentation
- National EMS Safety Summit, 2016, Denver, CO. Presentation with Code Green
- KEMSA Kansas EMS Association conference, Wichita, Kansas. August 11th, 2016
- Western Berks Ambulance and Reading Health Service presentation, October 12, 2016
- Code EMS Conference, Kalahari Resorts, Pocono Manor, PA, "Broken by Battle- The War on Silence" October 13, 2016