Despite the excellent training most first responders receive, their work involves not only witnessing the terror, pain and tragedy of others but on occasion also risking their own lives.  

Factors which lead to increased risk of First Responders developing PTSD include:

  • Repeated exposure to death, dismembered body parts and human remains
  • After an especially disturbing call, having to continue to respond to other calls regardless
  • Chronic fatigue levels
  • Cumulative stress because of repeated exposure to trauma
  • Having no control over the volume of calls;
  • Seeing a colleague killed or injured in the line of duty
  • Witnessing the death of a child
  • Prolonged or failed rescue operations
  • Exposure to mass traumatic incidents and resultant feelings of helplessness
  • Being in a situation where one feels helpless in the face of overwhelming demands.