April 11th TRAUMA AND SUICIDE WORKSHOP FOR EMERGENCY FIRST RESPONDERS Hosted by Legacy Place Society (April 11, 2019 Red Deer)

Legacy Place continues to provide confidential support to the individuals and families of first responders and military personnel.  It’s a season of taking a much needed look at trauma impact and it’s relationship to mental health and suicide. TRAUMA AND SUICIDE WORKSHOP FOR EMERGENCY RESPONDERSThis workshop on April 11, 2019 in Red Deer is open to the all we serve and adult family members.  Seating is limited and will be in round table setting.

Overall Program Learning Objectives

 This training program will focus on the whole person that walks into challenging and traumatic situations as a regular part of their work. The mind, body, emotions and spirit of each responder we send into the field are deeply and profoundly affected by what they encounter. What they see and hear directly affects how they feel and how they relate to the world around them.

 This workshop identifies some major stressors that emergency services responders face regularly. It provides tools to support total mind, body, emotional and spiritual health in a way that reduces absenteeism, work leaves, and early exits from the workforce, from prolonged Cumulative and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The training also provides help with such life aspects as divorce and self-medication – drugs and alcohol misuse.

 Bernie Fitterer is a Life Coach, trainer, author and professional speaker. As a veteran professional fire-fighter with over 22 years of service with the Regina Fire Department, he brings a practical approach to dealing with workplace deaths and traumatic situations. Bernie was a part of the Department’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team, delivered Public Fire and Life Safety Education, interviewed Juvenile Fire setters and families, worked with schools, and family social services agency in the City. Bernie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Adult Education and Training, has taken Vicarious Trauma training, and completed a 30 month Psycho-Spiritual Therapy Counselling Practicum where he has conducted hundreds of individual and group sessions. Bernie has as passion for working with people in the Emergency Services and families that have been affected by trauma, death and suicide.

 The workshop modules have a general flow using an Adult Education model, of story-point, time for individual reflection, journaling, sharing in pairs or small groups then in the larger group, followed by a grounding exercise to engage the senses and deepen the learning quicker. The training is interactive and provides opportunities for each participant to engage.

 Due to the nature of this training program there is a possibility of opening up some emotional wounds. Therefore, a commitment to confidentiality is required for each of the participants to feel safe in the learning environment.

 Agenda – Note: The schedule is laid out to give an idea of the topics and learning objectives. Although time is continually monitored by the instructor, situations may arise that require deviation from the schedule.

8:00 am – 8:20 am

Learning Objective: To provide the learners with the basic framework of the one-day training program and to begin the exploration of trauma, death, suicide and self-care.

 Opening Comments and Introductions

Overview of day

 8:20 am – 9:50 am

Learning Objective: To bring attention to how witnessing death on a regular basis, if unmanaged, can result in physical and mental health issues that can be career and life limiting.

 First death on scene; Long Term (Cumulative) Stress Disorder; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Vicarious Trauma; Downtime Stress

 9:50 am – 10:00 am Break

 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Learning Objective: Learners will examine the more personal side of death and how that can be very different from ‘on the job’ deaths.

 Facing suicide (others); Death of a co-worker (away from work); Facing your own death situations at home; Facing a family members death; Self-care basics

 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Lunch

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Learning Objective: Learners will inventory their own personal perspective on trauma, suicide and death. 

 Facing suicide (potentially one’s own); Self-care as it relates to emotional trauma and career longevity

2:00 – 2:10 pm Break

2:10 pm – 3:40 pm

Learning Objective: Learners will look at how their work affects them and subsequently their families.

Being too open (telling everyone of the trauma you have witnessed); Being too closed (not telling anyone of the trauma you have witnessed); How your family and friends are affected by your behavior (trauma)   

3:40 pm – 3:50 pm Break

3:50 pm – 4:20 pm

Learning Objective: Learners will identify Mindfulness practices and coping mechanisms to deal with trauma, death and stress.

Understanding mindfulness; Emotions as a learning catalyst rather than a reactive stimulus; The importance of a daily practice; Reading positive messages; Music without words; Identifying intuition; Identifying the difference between mind chatter and intuition; The importance of surrender and gratitude; Being open to something better; Being open to being at peace           

4:20 pm – 4:40 pm

Instructor Evaluation and final feedback.

Call to action

LOCATION: 38105 Rdg Rd 275 Red Deer County, AB (CrossRoads Church)


Cost is a nominal fee for refreshments and light lunch of $25+GST

Registration link to the Trauma and Suicide Workshop for Emergency Responders Hosted by Legacy Place Society