Written Assignment 5

Significant Stressors for First Responder Families Assignment



It is evidently clear that any events that might affect the mind will as well the body. This is held to be true since the events, which affect the body also, has a positive effect on ones mind Hoven et al. (2009). Most notably, it is postulated that both the mind and body are inextricably adjoined and, thus, they cannot be separated. In an organizational setting, all of the involved stakeholders have, in most cases, admitted to the issues of workplace stress given that impending stress levels that affect workers performance. Also, this is a dilemma that faces families of first responders.

First responders, in their respective line of duties, are likely faced with challenging situations that trigger lower levels of concentration. This is especially since they are worried about their family members that they fail to keep their minds on the immediate assignment. Hoven et al. (2009) argue that whenever people are distracted, they become increasingly subject to unnecessary accidents and work mistakes. First responders are, in most cases, assigned to tasks that they have little knowledge about and thus, it results to increased levels of tragic events that do not affect them, but also their respective family members as a whole.

It is ascertained that First Responders are not only exposed to immense levels of danger whenever they respond to mass traumatic situations, but also, in their respective daily assignments given that they come face-to-face with acts of violence, inextricable levels of risks and also, immense levels of stress (Clohessy & Ehlers, 1999). It is postulated that parents working as First Responders are exposed to significant levels of stressors that are work related. These stressors might include intense exposure to violence, danger or, in most cases, inextricable distressing happenings. The aforementioned stressors might trigger higher levels of mental health incapacitations that, in turn, expose their children at extreme risks of developing mental problems.

Thus, in this case, First Responders include the police, fire fighters and EMT personnel and their immediate families for a distinctive network. Retrospectively, with their usual daily work-related risks exposure, they may, in addition, be exposed to such isolated foremost tragic events as the World Trading Center attack in New York. For example, with the cases of EMTs, they are exposed to intense forms of traumatic events, which are either natural or human intrigued given that they share close contacts with accident victims positioned between life and death (Galea et al., 2002).

Consequently, EMTs and their respective families are exposed to risks associated with the nature of the work performed. This is ascertained to the fact that they must, at all times, be ready and, within a short notice, avail themselves for tragic events handling. This, in turn, affects their relationship with family members, who in most cases need them the most. It means that EMTs, as a classical example of First Responders, suffer un-endless periods of irregular shifts (Hoven et al., 2009). Following this argument, it is argued that their respective families will thus be exposed to intense levels of indirect levels of trauma and other psychological related problems.

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Following the WTC attack, Duarte et al. (2006) noticed that the rate of possible PTSD related complications varied extensively with the First Responders children. Statistically, it was observed that children from EMT families suffered 18.9% from PTSD related complications while fire fighters children suffered 5.6% following the tragic WTC attacks in New York.

Clohessy and Ehlers (1999) further argue that there might be additional circumstances where First Responders families may also be subjected to elements of danger as formidable stressors. Following this line of reasoning, it is postulated that these family members are thus exposed to such peculiar characteristics as adopting avoidant behaviors and subsequent persistent symptoms. This, in turn, causes a significant disruption on the First Responders emotional life. Given the aforementioned postulation, it has been successfully argued that the causes of trauma to both the FRs family members and themselves have developed an affirmative feedback network in which traumatic related symptoms have fostered intrinsic levels of avoidant behaviors and postulate distancing (Hoven et al., 2009).

Another group of First Responders, the police and their respective families, has also been subjects to the aftermath of tragic events. Duarte et al. (2006) noticed that this group of FRs is involved, on a daily-basis, in extremely stressful and possible life-threatening scenarios for such cases as homicides and intense robberies. Current research targeting this group indicates that the PTSD prevalence rate has increased from a mere 2.7% in the 1990s to 13% in the current decade. This is highly attributed with the intense technological developments deployed in the course of conducting such tragic events as terrorism and robberies.

Ostensibly, due to their nature of work, Duarte et al. (2006) argue that these law enforcement officers are exposed to inadequate sleeps and alcohol abuse. For this case, they are considered to be one of the professions, within the United States, with the highest levels of suicidal rates and tendencies. Accordingly, due to the significant level of stressors within this profession, the police officers also suffer from exorbitant rates of avoidance behaviors, which translate to possible problems with both their spouses and children (McFarlane & Bookless, 2001).

Selective research has continued to postulate to the fact that exposure to trauma will, in most cases, lead to poorer levels of family functioning capacities since it increases irritability, withdrawal and minimized enjoyment of sharing collective responsibilities amongst the First Responders (McFarlane & Bookless, 2001). From a developmental viewpoint, it is established that children of FRs will likely depict mental incapacitation on their early stages of life than children whose parents line of duty does not revolve around elements of violence or dangerous activities. Subsequently, due to increased levels of experiences and comprehension about the kind of hazards exposed to their parents, Children of FRs are likely to develop mental incapacitation issues as their ages increase (McFarlane & Bookless, 2001).

Following the arguments put forth, there have been core efforts put forward to have First Responder families prepare and thus, understand the real scope of their spouses nature of work in cases of disastrous events. Organizations have been urged to develop and maintain disaster preparedness programs meant for both the First Responders and their immediate families (Fair, 2011). Incident commanders should be exposed to enlightening program sessions where they are educated on matters related to handling of stress of a particular response unit. Given the effects of the nature of work for children of First Responders, they should be included in organizations programs where ample time is allowed for families to bond (Hoven et al., 2009).

In conclusion, it should be ascertained that First Responders are affected as much as their respective families whenever they are exposed to tragic events. Since in such events, there is higher exposure to risk levels, which might lead to possible injury or accidents that are life-threatening in nature. It has further been argued that family members, especially children of First Responders are the most affected lot. This is due to the fact that they are prone to mental health problems, especially when they tend to grow old. For this cause, they are considered to be the most vulnerable lot that should be put under first-priority in most cases. Also, it has been established that due to the significant level of such stressors as inadequate sleep and short notice calls, First Responders are subjected to peculiar behaviors as distancing, withdrawal and irritability that translates to poor family functionalities.

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