Chaplains helping San Antonio first responders deal with trauma

On Monday, San Antonio police and first responders responded to a call for a child who was run over by a parent while backing their vehicle out of the driveway along the Interstate 10 frontage road near Houston Road.

Officers on scene hope this tragic scene is a reminder to others to be careful while behind the wheel.

“We need to do everything we can when we’re operating a vehicle, that there’s no children around behind or in front to avoid this happening again,” Officer Tom Alonzo said.

Deacon Jerry Whitley, a retired firefighter who is now a chaplain, said everyone processes scenes in different ways. He said when he joined the department in the 1980′s, he remembered most folks were too tough to speak out about their feelings or to seek help.

Whitley said agencies have been better about pushing for self-care and mental health awareness.

“If it’s a traumatic scene, there may be quite a few crews involved, and they’ll put them out of service. They’ll get people out there, and there’s a possibility that they could even go home,” Whitley said.

Agencies provide support and services but so do churches and other community organizations.

Reboot Recovery is a national program that offers local classes for first responders. Warriors of Ramoth is another local program designed to help those facing PTSD.

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