Who rescues the rescuer?
Who takes care of the wounded warrior
when the wounds are invisible?
Countless articles and blogs have been written about the effects of trauma and stress on first responders, so many that we become blasé about the effect of trauma and stress on Fire, Police and EMS Personnel. Each day, these men and women put on their uniform and pin their badge to their chest and go out into our communities to save us, to rescue us, to protect us. When their shift ends, they always remain vigilant, on duty – their #soulbadge remains pinned to their hearts.
But some get wounded because of their work – long lasting deep emotional and psychological wounds carried around while fulfilling their duty.
The Xhosa people speak about a healing ceremony called Ukubula, a confessional telling of what you have done ( and seen) before the community..” The community’s role is to “tolerate the pain of listening, no matter how difficult. The community carries the burden and pain of what happened and the warrior is forgiven and healed from private suffering (Warrior’s Return: Restoring the Soul After War -Edward Tick)
Perhaps, we need to offer our First Responders – our Police Officers, our Firemen and Paramedics an opportunity for Ukubula, by acknowledging their service and saying thank you – we support you.
This is a plea – a passionate plea for us as members of all the communities in and around South Africa to acknowledge our First Responders and to recognize the risks they face each day.