Sarah Mielke is an experienced prehospital care provider who has actively practiced emergency medicine since 2005. She certified as an EMT and firefighter in 2005 at Bellingham Technical College and the Whatcom County Recruit Academy respectively. She spent the first years of her career working in Lynden in 911 response. After moving to Cleveland, Ohio in late 2008 she worked private ambulance for a large national company while pursuing paramedic certification. Sarah completed her paramedic certification in 2011 at the Cleveland Clinic EMS Academy. She moved back to the Pacific Northwest in 2013 and then in 2014, began pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in paramedicine at Central Washington University. While working on a project for one of her classes she observed that there was a lack of education in grief support and death notification for emergency responders. In response, she developed a unique and intuitive way to teach these neglected topics. During this process, Sarah found that the same principles she was using to teach this topic applied just as well to responders trying to deal with the trauma created by horrific things they see and respond to in the field; thus, Emotional Trauma Life Support™ was born.
Combining extensive research, anecdotal evidence, and her own personal experience she developed a carefully crafted, comprehensive program that she describes as “the program I wish I had a decade ago.” Sarah has spent nearly two decades dealing with long-term complex PTSD with a second round just a few years ago, has lived through extended periods of being actively suicidal, and has been on both sides of providing death notifications and grief support. Having lived through it, survived, and slowly rebuilt her life, she is now an educator and researcher who is well aware of how significantly these issues can impact providers. Sarah also knows how daunting and impossible the recovery process can seem, and exactly how low the odds of survival are when one is trying to face the problem alone. Her passion is to educate on the how and why of emotional trauma and to try to save others from having to struggle through the battles alone and unaided. Sarah has made great strides towards her own recovery, has since completed dual Bachelor degrees in Paramedicine (Bachelor of Science) and Psychology (Bachelor of Arts) from Central Washington University in June of 2016. She lives in northwestern Washington State, where she finds her therapy in the outdoors – hiking, camping, and sailing whenever she can and running when she absolutely has to.