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News Release
Stress First Aid Train the Trainer
Stress First Aid Train the Trainer
Oregon Public Safety Academy Hosts Class to Help Peers (Photo) - 01/09/19

Over the past two days, more than two dozen instructors gathered at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem to take a train the trainer class called Stress First Aid (SFA) for Law Enforcement.

The SFA class was designed to reduce the risk for stress reactions in law enforcement personnel (police, corrections, parole and probation, 9-1-1) and developed specifically for Oregon and the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) by the National Center on Post-Traumatic Stress and is based on the Combat & Operational Stress First Aid (COSFA) class used by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy.  The class was developed and presented by Dr. Patricia Watson and Dr. Richard Westphal, both military veterans, who helped develop the COSFA and SFA programs.

Stress First Aid quickly recognizes those individuals who are reacting to a wide range of stressors in their work and personal lives, and are in need of interventions to promote healing.  Stress First Aid offers a spectrum of one-on-one or group interventions to ensure safety, reduce the risk for more severe stress reactions and to promote recovery.  Stress First Aid monitors the progress of recovery to ensure return to full function and well-being.  Stress First Aid bridges individuals to higher levels of care as needed.  Stress First Aid training discusses the principles of peer teams in public safety and how they can be organized to promote healing. This class in not meant to replace critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) training classes or other programs but is to be used as an additional or alternative resource.

In a recent press release, BlueH.E.L.P. identified that more police officers died of suicide in 2018 than died in the line of duty, in fact 9% more than the total number of line-of-duty deaths resulting from 15 other causes such as felonious assault, patrol vehicle accident, heart attack, duty-related illness.  "The reports of 144 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty during 2018 is a tremendous loss," BlueH.E.L.P. co-founder Jeff McGill said in a statement. "As tragic as these duty deaths are, the single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide."

DPSST's Director Eriks Gabliks said, "we provide important training classes and resources to law enforcement officers who encounter people in crisis and we need to offer training and tools to our law enforcement officers so they can assist a co-worker in crisis."  The Stress First Aid training class is offered as part of DPSST's 16-week Basic Police Course.  "Since it has been implemented, those trained in SFA have had a number of successes including identifying two co-workers with suicidal tendencies who were able to get assistance and are now back to work." 

For more on Blue HELP: https://bluehelp.org/158-american-police-officers-died-by-suicide-in-2018/?fbclid=IwAR0eCgLUQ0zrmtf75B_mWHQqMH6eccmIuYT-J3eoJomcIckdPFI7pCwgAcM  

## Background Information on the DPSST ##

The Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) operates the Oregon Public Safety Academy which spans more than 235 acres in Salem. The Academy is nationally recognized for its innovative training programs and active stakeholder involvement. Eriks Gabliks serves as the Director, and Sheriff Jason Myers of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office serves as the Chair of the Board. The department implements minimum standards established by the Board for the training and certification of more than 40,000 city, tribal, county and state law enforcement officers, corrections officers, parole and probation officers, fire service personnel, telecommunicators, emergency medical dispatchers and private security providers.

DPSST provides training to more than 25,000 students each year throughout Oregon and at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem: certifies qualified officers at various levels from basic through executive; certifies qualified instructors; and reviews and accredits training programs throughout the state based on standards established by the Board.

 

 

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