First Responder Families

You Count Too!

Family members of emergency services are often overlooked when it comes to the impact of the work. I have a personal understanding of this situation since I grew up in a police family, became a police officer myself, and married another police officer. The effects of the job do not stop at the door of your home. Family members and partners may also experience secondary traumatic stress, organizational stress, burnout, depression, and anxiety stemming from the work. They may also struggle with relationship difficulties, as they find themselves at the mercy of rotating assignments, shiftwork, and a first responder who feels physically, psychologically, or spiritually depleted. Working as a first responder tends to be a way of life for many in the profession. As such, it affects the family’s way of life.  A strong support system has been found to protect those in first responder work from the wear and tear of the job. There are ways to strengthen first responder families and partners so that everyone remains healthy.