In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Firefighter Bob Barc who has a passion for peer support and clearing the mental Rolodex.
Bob started his firefighting career in a small town. The lessons started there along with many other experiences that developed his understanding of clearing the mental Rolodex. The brain is much like a Rolodex, it pushes things back so that they get lost amongst the daily events in life that push the hard stuff farther back. Barc makes a point to remind us that we have to push it forward to clear it out.
What can we do to help our family understand the replay of events? Add a card to the family’s Rolodex explaining that when there is a difficult call or as calls start adding up we can get stuck in that time, making it difficult for us to talk about what we saw. If family has that card to pull out when we come home acting a little different, this will help everyone.
There is something to be said for talking with a stranger when it feels like we want to fix something or someone and can’t open up. Barc talks about times when you can have a conversation in the back of the ambulance letting that person know that you are there to listen and help them understand this is just a moment in time. Being able to remove any preconceived judgements that come with personally knowing someone. When that person moves on, they hopefully have some of the stress removed because the conversation has helped them process what has happened.
The Dinner Table
In a firehouse, things can be processed at the dinner table. Although, many things go unsaid that need to be released. Whether it is a call that just occurred or a build-up of struggles in someone’s life. The dinner table should be a place of no-judgment and freedom to be open to the process. Regardless of where that dinner table sits, add it to the Rolodex on a card for you and your family. Pull that card as often as you can, so it keeps in the front of all the cards that are added during our life.