For many first responders, mental health issues are part of an increasing number of calls for help.
How best to respond to these calls is the focus of a program in Centre County that more than 400 people have now completed.
How do you train for a crisis? For emergency responders that is a question with no easy answer.
“When we do our training in one of our 40-hour components, we use actual calls that have come through our 911 center as part of the training. So, nothing is made up.”
Tracy Small is the coordinator for Centre County’s Crisis Intervention Training Program, which first began in 2010 and has since seen a growing number of graduates.
“We have trained 403 public safety telecommunicators, and law enforcement officers, which includes Pennsylvania state police.”
Since the beginning, responding to mental health related calls and problems has been one of the training programs top priorities.
“A crisis call could be anything. Each person defines their own crisis. So, if they feel they’re in crisis, they can call 9-1-1.”
This week, Trevor Harris, a Centre County 911 responder, and State College police officer Todd Scholton, were honored by the C.I.T. Program for their responses in two separate incidents where lives were saved.