A 'newby' to this forum, and I feel a little out of place here, as I don't attend the 'scene' as a first responder, but I listen to it. Been doing it for about 9years now in NSW Ambulance, and starting to feel it is catching up with me. The problem I have is layered. It is the accumulation effect of all of the jobs. In addition to the volume of calls that come in, as well as, the way ambulance has restructured; and primarily all non-emergency calls have been diverted to other agencies, such as non emergency patient transport and health direct. Hence, we virtually only get 000 emergency trauma calls, all of the time, all shift, every shift.
Its different from 'seeing' the trauma, but during the call, I am 'in the scene' as it is unfolding. Some stuff you can't 'un-hear'. We are required to get help to the right location and advise the right actions at the right times, in seconds. Call after call. We can take 200 calls per 12 hr shift. 4shifts a 9-day week for years.
There is help available EAP and other assets, but many are reluctant to access as they are concerned it will be noted and may affect their promotion chances. I know of a paramedic who accidentally revealed that he accessed EAP only once to a new health insurer after a rough job, the health insurance company earmarked him as a risk, refused to insure him without clearance from a psychiatrist, and put a 200% levy on his premium, it now follows him with every insurer. The risks are real.
I have a counsellor that helps me, as does my GP. I am concerned I'm burning out though, previous systems, CBT, mindfulness, meds, seem to get overidden by the big jobs that stay with me. I'm trying but its hard.
Thanks for listening gang, I'll put this out there, see what people think.
Take care of yourselves.