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Friday, August 11, 2017

Focus on Changing the Culture—Addressing EMS Provider Stress and Mental Health

The Burnsville Fire Department is changing their
culture on responder stress and mental health.
That’s the title of a Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS)-sponsored webinar that features Burnsville’s Fire Chief BJ Jungmann and Assistant Fire Chief Brian Carlson. The presentation is more of a conversation, as the chiefs talk about the lessons learned after Chief Carlson began to struggle with a mental health problem. While the overall lesson was a focus on changing the department culture, they did have some specific recommendations.

Some of those included the topics of:

  • Training
  • Having good intentions
  • Preparing for worst-case scenarios
  • Always communicating
  • Expecting and dealing with the fear of the unknown
  • Knowing the work comp process and having a plan
  • Providing leadership 
  • Having a return-to-work program

This topic (and the recommendations included in the webinar) aligned with last spring’s workshop session on mental health, and we will be making this topic a priority for the next year as well. I extend a huge thank you to BJ and Brian for sharing their story and for their dedication to this important topic.

You can find and view the JEMS webinar here.

Up next: Help With the Audit of Automated License Plate Readers

Stay safe,
Rob

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