Emergency responders to this week’s suspicious death in Yellow Grass had a chance to access some counselling Saturday night.
The volunteer fire department and Milestone RCMP responded to a house fire on Thursday and discovered a woman’s body.
Experts in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) were on hand at the Yellow Grass community complex to give responders a chance to talk about their experience.
“It very much is a round-table discussion,” said Will Breen, a volunteer with the Yellow Grass Fire Department.
“A chance for everyone to really to vent and talk about, you know, how they are bothered by what they saw, or what they participated in, and that sort of thing.”
“It’s becoming more and more common. I’m sure you’re familiar with the many news stories that are detailing elevated rates of suicide amongst firefighters, police officers, and paramedics,” said Breen.
“It’s a peer-driven discussion that is guided by mental health professionals, and it is geared to respond to the critical incidents often faced by uniformed emergency response.”
Breen noted that the Saturday session was organized by an umbrella group representing volunteer firefighters.
“We’d like to extend our appreciation to the Saskatchewan Volunteer Firefighters’’ Association for putting this initiative together. I think it’s going to help a lot of people, and I think it’s needed within our industry,” he told Discover Weyburn.
The Yellow Grass firefighter said any members of the public who felt impacted by Thursday’s tragedy were also invited to speak to the same counsellors.
“The initial closed-door counselling session, that is reserved for those of us in emergency services, but in the meet-and-greet afterwards, when we open the doors, the public is absolutely welcome to come in and talk with the members to the CISM team, and the CISM team would be more than delighted to hook them up with any mental health resources,” he said ahead of Saturday night’s session.
Breen said people can also contact the CISM team directly at (306) 520-3278 or (306) 570-7791.