‘You Are Worth It’ training is coming up for first responders

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First responders, dispatchers, and medical workers can see some of the worst things. That stress can add up, and create some mental health problems.

That’s why leaders have organized a free training opportunity called ‘You Are Worth It.’

It started after Bob Saunders, a St. Louis County Law Enforcement Chaplain, met with some volunteer fire departments last year. “I was talking to some of the folks. And it came up, some of the scenes they’ve been to. Some of the things they’ve done. And how difficult it can be afterwards,” he told us.

He brought up the idea of a training. And Duane “Dewey” Johnson, the Emergency Management Director for St. Louis County, was off and running to plan it. He was a dispatcher and volunteer firefighter for 22 years. “We have dozens of fire departments in St. Louis County, and all but four are volunteer.”

“We have been able to contract with Michael Langston, who’s an expert from the East Coast, about PTSD.
And this project is being funded by the Northeast Regional Emergency Communications Board,” Johnson explained.

Any first responder, career or volunteer, and their loved ones are encouraged to attend.

Saunders added, “We’re not going to be able to cure anybody or to fix anybody with these meetings. But perhaps we can give them some tools that they can work with, that they can recognize what’s going on in their lives.”

There are shorter sessions and then a full day one.

Workshop dates and times:

Tuesday, March 28th. Session 1: 12-2pm Session 2: 7-9pm. Both at the St. Louis County Public Safety Building, 2030 N Arlington Avenue.

Wednesday, March 29th: 7 hour workshop from 9am-4pm. AAD Shrine Building and Event Center, 5152 Miller Trunk Highway in Hermantown.

Thursday, March 30th: Session 1: 12-2pm Session 2: 7-9pm. St. Louis County Public Works building, 7823 Highway 135, Virginia.

Please RSVP to Holly Olson: olsonh@stlouiscountymn.gov