About The Course

Module 1

  • Foundation of ETLS™
  • Scope of the problem
  • The effects of adequate grief support on survivors
  • The effects on responders before, during, and after
  • Where we need to be, where we are, and how to get there from here
  • How to avoid damaging grief survivors
  • How to help grief survivors avoid long-term damage
  • How to avoid responder long-term damage
  • 10 simple steps to grief support & understanding

Module 2

  • Stress: basic stress refresher, the three sources of fire/EMS stress, Personally Disturbing Incidents
  • Burnout: recognizing it in fire/EMS, getting through it, recovering from it, preventing it
  • Depression: recognizing it, atypical presentation, causes, risk factors, cognitive effects, and treatments
  • Trauma: stress 201; the cutting-edge pathophysiology of mental/emotional trauma, how and why it happens, neuroplasticity and hope
  • Acute Stress Reactions/Acute Stress Disorders: recognizing them, dealing with them, preventing progression to PTSD
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: how and why it happens, risk factors, recognizing it in fire/EMS, recovering from it, preventing it
  • Treatments: creating educated consumers; the evidence-based treatment options for stress disorders, choosing a mental/emotional/behavioral health professional
  • Suicide & prevention: understanding how and why, the common factors, the common myths, fire/EMS specific presentations, helping a colleague in crisis, confronting a colleague you suspect may be in crisis, how to call a Mayday and get help for yourself, surviving suicidal ideation, dealing with suicides in the department/company
  • The growth and adaptation process
  • Stress insurance: building resilience prior to PDIs and avoiding the downward slope, pre-plans and crumple zones

Module 3

  • Impacts of grief care on survivors, impacts on providers, cost of not having on both
  • Differences in sudden death vs. expected death
  • The role of the emergency responder in grief support
  • Affect, non-verbals, touch, and what to say/not to say
  • Reactions to expect & how to address them
  • Frequently Asked Questions by the family including organ donation and autopsy questions
  • Viewing the body: how and why
  • The logistics of death: death certificates, body disposition, paperwork involved, interfacing with other agencies
  • Transitioning out and transfer of care
  • Dealing with the aftermath (self/colleagues)

Module 4

  • Termination of resuscitation issues & protocols
  • Viewing resuscitation in progress: how and why, concerns
  • A simple, easy-to-remember death notification protocol
  • Telephone death notification and guidelines
  • Grief support with kids
  • Cultural and religious sensitivities and differences
  • Dealing with language barriers
  • Pediatric death: the differences for survivors and for responders, viewings and notifications, divorced parents, parental grief, SIDS, suspected child abuse deaths
  • Hospice and DNR issues, ethical challenges, grief support
  • Violent deaths: crime scenes, suicides, homicides, the differences for survivors and for responders
  • Death notification to other incident survivors
  • Bystander support
  • Non death-related trauma response (i.e. rape, abuse)
  • Dealing with medical errors

The release date for the textbook is slated for 2018; handouts are available and highly recommended with the class.

30 thoughts on “About The Course

    1. Tonya- I will add you to the database! Have you “followed” the page? (There’s a follow button off to the left side where you can put in your email for updates.) Also go ahead and send a ‘contact us’ form if you have a chance; I keep most of my contacts sorted through that particular form! Thank you!


  1. Would like to know the location of the classes and if this is something that could be attending via a webinar or on-line courses.

    Thank you for designing this class and looking out for all our brothers and sisters in EMS


    1. Hey Mark- I hope to start posting upcoming class locations soon- I need to clear some details with the clients first. And yes, there are potential plans in the works for a hybrid version of the program and possibly an online or webinar. Stay tuned!


  2. Looking forward to taking the coarse and then becoming an instructor as well. They has been a growing need in my area (Northeast PA and PA as a whole) for such a coarse.


    1. Jenna- thank you for finding me on LinkedIn! Send me an email via the “contact us” link on the website; it’s the “funnel point” I use for all the incoming interest so that I can keep it sort of in order! 🙂


    1. Tony-
      At some point it may be an online course, but in the nearer future it will be a hybrid. Because of the subject matter, the first day (the base module that ties together the entire program, and the responder mental health stuff) is infinitely better done in person. Day 2 is, as well, but lends itself somewhat better to online learning. We also hope to set up “pre-conference” sessions as well for fire and EMS conferences. And yes, you do receive a certification card. Americans also receive 16 hours of CME credit; I have not looked into your systems up North as of yet, but hopefully it will work out similarly. Feel free to drop an email to me via the “contact us” page, as that is my bottleneck for inbound questions and interest! -Sarah


  3. I would love to take the course as well as become a trainer and take the train the trainer . I have already sent and email through the contact us page…..


  4. You are right we are not getting updates. I would like to take it either in person or online. Also, like to get certification to teach it.


    1. Dr. Turner-
      There have not been nearly as many updates as I would wish, either, but I hope to remedy that very soon. E-mail me (etls4ems@gmail.com) and let’s get a class set up in your area soon. SM


  5. We have some people with our ambulance department that would like to take the course and possibly become trainers as well. We also have people interested from our local fire and local dispatch departments. Where are your classes located? Do you come to individual services to teach? And what’s the cost for this course?


    1. Shala-
      Yes, I travel to the client. Likewise, if there is an open class in your area, you are welcome to attend. Send me contact form through the “contact us” link- that is my funnel-point for all the interest- and we can talk more about the logistics and such, including where your agency is, how big a class you are looking for, etc. I look forward to talking to you! SM


    1. I would love to. I’ve never been to the Carolinas and look forward to remedying that. I have more interested parties in NC/SC than in almost any other state, so I am sure we can pull together enough people for a great class. I received your emails while in Maine teaching a course and am just now catching up from that, and I responded to them today. The Florida classes have fallen through due to lack of sponsorship but I should have replacements for them in the near future. Please let me know if you do not receive the materials in a timely fashion! SM


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s