Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department has partnered with the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to sponsor training focused on first responders who answer the growing number of emergency calls related to former military men and women affected by PTSD or Traumatic Head Injuries. The conference entitled, From Combat to Community, hosted more than 300 public safety responders during the free event that took place on Friday, July 9, 2010, at the California Endowment Center for Healthy Living.
“We’ve seen a rise in the number of incidents involving former military personnel who were involved in critical crisis situations, like hostage taking, barricades, suicides, and armed stand offs,” said Detective Teresa Irvin, who is a supervisor in LAPD’s Mental Evaluation Unit. “Sometimes knowing the right things to say and do can defuse these situations quickly and peacefully.”
Presenters at the one-day training conference explained life in a war zone in an attempt to help first responders understand veterans’ lives under the extreme stress of combat. “When we understand where the stress originates, we have a better idea how to recognize its manifestations at home,” Detective Irvin explained. “It’s a matter of understanding those who serve in the armed forces.”
“Recognition and planned response are the keys to resolving these situations,” Detective Irvin added. “Police, fire, and crisis negotiators are hungry for more effective response techniques, and we think we owe that extra effort to these veterans who have served us so valiantly.”
Detective Teresa Irvin, a 17-year veteran of LAPD, has worked in the Mental Evaluation Unit for the last four years, and she is the mother of an active-duty soldier who has served two tours in combat zones.
The 8-hour conference began at 8:00 a.m., and was free to all law enforcement officers, fire fighters, crisis negotiators, and other professional first responders.
For more information regarding From Combat to Community, please contact Detective Teresa Irvin at 213-996-1322, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.