EP 75: The Calling – Greg Podolak

by | Mar 28, 2024 | PODCAST

In  today’s Beyond the 1st Response episode, Christy and Ciara talked with Greg Podolak, a blended clinician for first responders at Halfwild Counseling.    

The Calling to Help

Greg’s story is inspiring and humbling at the same time. Greg came from a family of first responders and had his sights set on being a police officer. His dad was a New York City officer who served on 9/11. His brother is also an officer. However, during his schooling, his mindset changed. He already knew the other side of the badge, but his eyes were opened more, and that is when he decided to go into the mental health side of helping our first responders. Greg is also a director at VALE Virginia Law Enforcement Foundation. He is also an instructor at REBOOT Recovery, a program for first responders and veterans to help heal PTSD and trauma so they can live healthier lives. 

While in school, he worked in conjunction with the EMS office to study cumulative trauma within the EMS field. This really opened his eyes to the traumas that occurred daily for first responders. He even noticed himself holding on to the traumas and unable to cope with them at times. This helped pave the way for him to help officers in the field.

A blended clinician is one that practices in the office, but also in the field. Greg does many ride-alongs with officers to assist with traumatic calls, bridge that gap from a “therapist,” and gain the officers’ trust to help them process their traumas on the job. 

Greg found his passion in helping first responders, understanding their traumas, and wanting to change how they perceive a clinician. He talks about the “out of the normal” ways he works with the men and women of the community and how he believes this helps the trust he is earning from them.

Show Links

Reboot Recovery VALE Foundation 

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