Recognising that mental and physical resilience are an essential part of kit for emergency responders, the Health & Well-being seminar theatre will return to The Emergency Services Show in September. Taking place in Hall 5 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK from 19th to 20th September, the free programme of CPD-accredited seminars will address the health, safety and psychological needs of all those involved in emergency response, including call centre staff. Speakers will include emergency responders who have experienced mental health challenges such as posttraumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), clinicians, academics and organisations who are implementing change and offering support.
Emma Morehouse and Trevor Hermes from PTSD999 will offer some advice from the Charity’s Psychological Health & Safety Programme which teaches emergency services personnel how to be mentally resilient and deal with the repeated trauma they face every day. Emma was formerly an ambulance service dispatcher for 12 years but she retired from the job due to vicarious PTSD. Trevor served with the Metropolitan Police for over 20 years and was on duty during the Broadwater Farm riots. Both are now trainers with PTSD999.
Jenna Flanagan, Coordinator for Oscar Kilo will provide details of the Blue Light Well-being Framework developed by the National Police Chiefs Council working group. The Framework and online resources hosted by Oscar Kilo have been designed so that all emergency services can adopt the same culture shift in well-being best practice.
Mental health charity Mind will be sharing its expertise and explaining how all emergency services can set up and deliver their own Blue Light Programmes offering mental health support that will last into the future.
There will be a dedicated session on well-being support for UK search and rescue volunteers, and The Firefighters Charity will explain how it is addressing the growing problem of mental health sickness absence in the UK fire and rescue service. There will also be a presentation on the Back up Buddy app which was piloted jointly by Sussex and Surrey Police and is increasingly being used by other forces to help provide 24/7 mental health support to police officers and staff.
Speakers from the Manchester Resilience Hub will share their learnings after 12 months of delivering psychological support to all those involved in the Manchester Arena attack, including emergency services. This will be followed by an overview of Response Pastors, a unique volunteer resource that was deployed to major incidents including the Grenfell Tower fire and Manchester Arena attack to help the communities and emergency service workers affected.
It is widely recognised that a healthy workforce performs better and achieves more. Kiran Kenth, Director of National & Regional Programmes, Royal Society for Public Health will discuss how improving health and preventing ill health can help the emergency services to support and protect citizens, businesses and the environment. There will also be a session on the positive impact that sports, social and physical activity have on performance at work, personal physical and mental health and overall well-being.
Jim Grove, Watch Commander, West Midlands Fire Service will discuss the importance of gas monitoring, and post fire decontamination, to reduce exposure to potentially carcinogenic materials. This session is aimed at fire, ambulance HART and police responders. Another session relevant to all services will discuss how employers can best support women working through the menopause and promote conversations around this once taboo subject.
Health and well-being is a strong focus elsewhere in the exhibition. The College of Paramedics is returning to deliver its very popular programme of free 30-minute CPD workshops, which include a daily workshop, led by Mind, on supporting colleagues with their mental health.
The International Collaboration Forum includes a session from the Resilience Advisors Network on psychological support for call handlers, sharing learnings from across Europe.
In the Lesson Learnt seminar theatre (sponsored by UCLan PROTECT) there will also be some interesting sessions on how those on the front line can protect themselves from new threats. These include a presentation on acid attacks led by the Metropolitan Police, and another on how to protect yourself from occupational exposure to opiates such as Fentanyl, led by health and safety experts, Ansell. All seminars are free to attend and are CPD-accredited.
A visit to The Emergency Services Show gives anyone working in emergency response access to the very best solutions providers and support networks to protect them at work and carry out their role to the best of their ability. The indoor and outdoor exhibition features leading PPE suppliers, training providers, and a wide range of voluntary groups, partner agencies, charities and NGOs who will be sharing details of the health and well-being advice and resources they can offer the emergency services.
To register for free, click here.