Welcome to the home of Emotional Trauma Life Support™, or ETLS™. ETLS™ is a brand-new, extremely unique training program designed to train Emergency Responders in how to deal with emotional trauma both in themselves and their colleagues and in those we serve. Emotional trauma refers to the sort of extreme stress that overflows your 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.
Research shows that those responding in the first hour or hours of a trauma have a vast and lasting impact on the grief recovery of the bereaved- 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, exposed to raw grief and emotion, that often do some of the most lasting damage to the emergency responder. With these responders facing a roughly one-per-day suicide average, an estimated 20-30% PTSD rate with another 20-25% sub-clinical or partial PTSD- PTSD itself increasing the suicide risk some 7-8 times) 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.
These are such critical areas but as yet there have been extremely limited training resources, if any, on these situations. Well-grounded in the most current research and evidence-based, best-practices principles, ETLS™ uses a very unique training algorithm to teach and train this new information. Built from existing knowledge already in place in the responders’ initial training, it minimizes the cognitive load of what is otherwise a large amount of new information, integrates seamlessly into both former and existing training at all levels and across the profession regardless of country, and significantly increases comprehension in both the cognitive and affective domains- and to dramatically increase retention.