FirstWatch, innovator of data-driven solutions for emergency services, announced today the launch of ResilientFirst, a research-validated system that uses artificial intelligence and a virtual coach to improve wellness and provide emergency services personnel with simple techniques to better manage stress. With ResilientFirst, emergency professionals take a quick baseline assessment survey and then measurably improve their resilience, grit, and job satisfaction by completing daily three- to five-minute “micro-tasks” on a smartphone or computer. This announcement was made at FirstWatch’s user group meeting during the Pinnacle conference, held this year in Orlando. Pinnacle is the premier conference for EMS leaders from all service models.
“Many of us at FirstWatch have seen the emotional toll that trauma can have on emergency services personnel, either through our own experiences or those of friends and colleagues,” said FirstWatch Founder and President Todd Stout, a former paramedic. “ResilientFirst will help prepare these dedicated professionals and prevent them from becoming additional victims to the traumatic scenes they witness every day.”
Law enforcement officers, 9-1-1 telecommunicators, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters are consistently exposed to the worst things that happen in our world, from headline-making disasters to less publicized, but just as devastating, personal tragedies. Each event takes an emotional and psychological toll on the professionals who respond to help. As a consequence, suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder rates among people who work in emergency services are nearly double those of the general population.
Research shows that the difference between people who attempt to take their own lives, and those who do not, can often be attributed to individuals’ levels of resilience. The most effective way of protecting these professionals from the potentially devastating consequences of repeated exposure to traumatic incidents is to increase their resilience using evidence-based methods.
“We deployed ResilientFirst on a volunteer basis to our five stations and had 94% participation,” said Chief Scott Ferguson of Murrieta Fire & Rescue in Southern California. “The feedback is clear – the program is working to develop resilience skills for individuals to understand and prevent trauma-related setbacks from depression, anxiety, and PTSD.”
FirstWatch partnered with Australia-based company, Driven, to offer ResilientFirst to emergency services colleagues in the U.S. and Canada. Led by neuroscientist Jurie Rossouw, Driven has helped people around the world improve their resilience and live healthier lives.
“The dedicated people who serve their communities in emergency services face enormous amounts of stress,” Rossouw said. “Driven is thrilled to partner with FirstWatch to bring ResilientFirst to this community and help the people who commit to helping others every day.”
ResilientFirst is available now. Organizations looking for an innovative, impactful, and cost-effective way to improve their personnel’s capacity to manage stress and to recover from traumatic incidents can contact FirstWatch’s Mike Taigman at firstname.lastname@example.org for details about implementation.
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