The bi-annual NSW Road Crash Rescue Challenge, has just been held at the Rural Fire Service’s Hot Fire Training Facility in Mogo, just south of Batemans Bay on the NSW far south coast.
The event sees emergency services test their rescue capabilities through road crash scenarios including ‘assisting motorists trapped in vehicles’ ‘supporting trauma victims’, and ‘delivering life-saving CPR’.
Sam White from Fortem Australia was invited to deliver a presentation, as part of the educational element of the challenge.
“It was great to be able to present at the Challenge, considering that a major focus of the event is to deal with road trauma,” he said.
“Our emphasis at Fortem on ‘mental fitness’ and taking proactive steps to protect against PTSD, means that events like these are the perfect entry point to build that awareness and literacy amongst first responders.”
Sam said it was pleasing to see attendees showed a high level of interest in Fortem and were engaged and interested in the importance of good mental health, both for paid staff and volunteers
“I’d say mental health literacy was higher than expected amongst the audience,” Sam said. “However there was a bit of a consensus that it was lower amongst their family members, who are the most crucial support network for any emergency service member.”
There was also some feedback around a lack of broader social recognition and support for the families of first responders.
“Several attendees mentioned how happy they were to see an organisation dedicated to not only looking to looking after them, but their families as well,” Sam said
“There was also a sense of great relief that Fortem has prominent members of respective agencies on our advisory board, and that our services are designed specifically for first responders.
“There was a lot of really useful feedback, and it’s the sort of thing you really only hear by attending these events in person, on-the-ground.
“I’m already looking forward to attending the event next time around.”
Mental health resources for first responders and their families can be found in the Fortem Resource Library.
To make an appointment with one of Fortem’s psychologists, call 1300 33 95 94.
Fortem activities, events and community engagements are designed to support the mental fitness of our first responder families. Read more about Our Approach.
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