I have to send out my thanks to all those who work in emergency services, Police, Fire, EMS, E-9-1-1, Emergeny Management who worked so diligently this past week. I know the kind of dedication and hard work each of you did this past week and it always amazes me. When the order to evacuate comes in, we go to work. When others are in danger, we say sure. In fact, the bigger the emergency, the higher the adrenaline dump that we experience and the most energy we have to protect and serve!
When the earth stopped shaking, the winds and rains stopped blowing, and as the flood waters rise and then receed - I hope that each of you took a few minutes for yourself. There I said it. The thing that emergency services personnel are really not good at - taking care of themselves. This includes texts or phone calls home to check on your family who you left to work. This includes some hard earned sleep. This also includes talking to your peers about the experiences that you shared. What is "nothing" to the seasoned veteran is definately stressful to the newbie, talking about it, maybe even admitting that it was a bit freaky at the time, a close call, or actually admitting to being scared!
Yes, I know, in this business people never want to admit to fear. However, sometimes those around you need to know that they weren't the only ones scared. They need you to not "keep a stiff upper lip" they need you to show that everyone has emotions. The tragedies seen, the obstacles overcome, the events you witnessed or heard - not everyone is subjected to that and not everyone deals with this the same way.
It is important to watch over one another in the coming days and weeks to ensure that no one member of your team is experiencing residual results from stress. If they are, please be sure to reach out to them.
It is also vitally important to take care of yourselves. In the weeks to come, take some time to relax - whether it's fishing or hunting, video games or facebooking, gardening or cleaning, reading or working out at the gym - make some time to do those things which you personally enjoy. Recharge your batteries so that there is enough of you left for the next emergency.