New Partnership Reinforces the Resiliency of NYC’s EMS Safety Net, The EMS FDNY Help Fund
August 24, 2020 -- The EMS FDNY Help Fund, an organization dedicated to financially aiding members of FDNY-EMS, announces today a new partnership with the NYC Trauma Recovery Network (TRN) to provide free trauma therapy to all FDNY-EMS members, who have been intensely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting immediately, FDNY-EMS members who are interested in taking advantage of the counseling services can easily sign up via https://www.nyctrn.org/request-services.
“When disaster strikes, we as first responders are on the front lines dealing with the most immediate physical needs of the community; however, our own mental health needs are often neglected,” said Paramedic Lieutenant Anthony Almojera. “It’s critical that FDNY-EMS members have easy access to specialized trauma therapy so that we’re able to continue doing our jobs with the intensity and focus demanded of us.”
As part of the program, TRN is offering FDNY-EMS members six to ten pro-bono confidential counseling sessions with licensed psychotherapists trained in EMDR to address any trauma and stress related symptoms they may be experiencing. Beyond the TRN initial sessions, the EMS FDNY Help Fund will cover the costs of additional mental health services that will be needed by FDNY-EMS in the future via fundraising efforts.
“While COVID-19 cases and deaths have begun decreasing in some areas, rates of anxiety and depression are continuing to rise and the psychological pain of front line workers is likely to continue and even worsen,” said John Manning, EMS FDNY Help Fund Chairman. “We are committed to helping EMS members overcome their mental health issues and are looking forward to partnering with TRN to make this possible.”
TRN, a local team of the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program, provides pro-bono EMDR therapy to first responders and front line medical professionals who have experienced critical incidents. EMDR therapy is widely recognized as one of the most effective and efficient treatments to help people recover from trauma.
"E.M.D.R. can help process and clear upsetting memories, thoughts, and feelings associated with trauma and help to prevent long term PTSD and other issues,” said Linda Kocieniewski, LCSW Coordinator, NY City Trauma Recovery Network. “We are happy to provide our services, which are completely confidential, to the men and women of FDNY-EMS who bravely serve all New Yorkers each and every day.”
The NYC TRN formed after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, when they served first responders, survivors of the attacks, and family members of those who we lost in the attacks. They also served the NYC community after Hurricane Sandy, as well as in other smaller disasters in the NYC area.
The EMS FDNY Help Fund mission is to ensure the security of our Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics and their families in the event of death, injury, illness or hardship. EMS FDNY Help Fund is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible, as allowable under the law. Individuals looking to support our heroes on the frontline can help by donating at www.emsfdnyhelpfund.com.