Welcome to the home of Emotional Trauma Life Support™, or ETLS™. ETLS is unique and intuitive two day, sixteen hour “modular” training program designed to train Emergency Responders in how to deal with emotional trauma both in ourselves and our colleagues as well as in those we serve.
Emotional trauma refers to the sort of extreme stress that overflows the ability to cope emotionally, cognitively, vocationally, and/or relationally. This can be from a single extremely disturbing event such as an unbelievably bad call or the sudden death of a loved one, or it can be from chronic stressors that wear down one’s ability to cope until even small stressors can wreak havoc in us or in those we serve.
Extensive research has shown that those who respond in the first hour or hours of a trauma have a vast and lasting impact on the entire trajectory of the bereaved’s grief recovery and yet these are the calls for which training usually merits only a brief mention in the first weeks of initial training courses.
Furthermore, it is these calls, with the professional helplessness and the exposure to raw grief and emotion, that often do some of the most lasting damage to us. We are facing a roughly one-per-day suicide average, an estimated 20-25% PTSD rate plus another 20-25% sub-clinical/”partial” PTSD (and PTSD itself increasing the suicide risk 7-8x), so something must be done.
Originally beginning as a very small training module in death notifications, ETLS™ grew to encompass grief support as well, and then it became obvious that the exact same principles being used to teach these topics applied perfectly to responder emotional trauma as well. Thus, over two years in development and extensive research, ETLS™ grew to the full 2-day 16-hour class that it is today.
Created by responders, for responders, and well grounded in the most current research and evidence-based, best-practices principles, ETLS™ fills a crucial niche in fire/EMS education. Utilizing our own well-known trauma training and principles, ETLS seamlessly integrates into existing training and knowledge at all EMS levels and across the world, minimizes the cognitive load of new information, significantly increases comprehension in both the cognitive and affective domains and dramatically increases retention.