New program aims to help first responders struggling with Pulse memories
Orange County hopes a new program will help first responders still struggling to shake free of horrors they saw at the Pulse nightclub massacre.
The 2016 mass shooting at the LGBTQ club traumatized survivors and police, firefighters and paramedics summoned to the grim scene.
“Forty-nine innocent people killed at one time...That’s something you might see on a battlefield in war,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Some first responders try to ignore painful memories and push on — as if horror is a routine part of their job.
“Different people handle stress and process trauma in very different ways,” said Donna Wyche, manager of Orange County’s division of Mental Health and Homeless Issues.
The training program is intended to teach first responders how to care for themselves and recognize peers who also may need help.