Paramedics get tools to fight PTSD

First responders plight brought to light by Victoria News article

Help could be on the way for first responders in British Columbia.

In a story published on Dec. 12, Victoria News profiled Lisa Jennings, a Victoria woman who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of 24 years of working as a paramedic.

WorkSafe B.C. denied Jennings’ claim. Now, six months after her flashbacks and nightmares began, and six months since she has worked, she is without medical benefits to treat her PTSD and without money to pay her rent.

Julie Wengi, executive director of Human Resources, B.C. Emergency Health Services, said it was a change in leadership in April that brought about a review of policies.

“We realized the support currently in place had been lacking,” she said. “We needed to do more.”

Her department advised their first responders they were reviewing the psychology support structures and asked for input. “We received a lot of feedback from paramedics.”

Wengi said BC EHS is making changes to their employee support like having a clinical psychologist available to staff, and providing training and education about PTSD to staff and managers. She said this service will be available to all workforce members, including part-time paramedics like Jennings.

For Jennings, this could mean getting the necessary treatment so she can return to work. But for now she is starting her appeal with WorkSafe and seeking help from the members of the community she longs to work for again.

To read more about Lisa Jennings and to help her recovery, please go online to gofundme.com/gq0k7w.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

Homeless woman sentenced to 18 months in jail for selling drugs to Victoria police officer

Officer paid $20 for a substance consisting of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine

Family restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

Wrap and Roll will donate all sales to victims of blast

Police looking for witnesses of alleged assault in Burnside Gorge’s Cecila Ravine

Concerned woman pushed to the ground, had phone broken while taking a photo of a dog

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read