File photo

Families of emergency responders need to be prepared too

Kelowna - A pilot program is being launched for responder’s families

One woman is sharing the importance of emergency preparedness for all sorts of families.

Nancy Szastkiw, a registered clinical counsellor with the Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre, knows the importance of a pilot program launching this weekend which offers emergency preparedness training for families of military members and first responders. Not only does her daily work include counselling military family members for deployment, she recently volunteered during Fernie’s ammonia leak crisis, according to the Military Family Resource Centre.

The lives of military and first responder families are unique in light of the combination of stressors they face that may include frequent relocations, persistent short and long-term separation, and the constant risk involved in training and deployed operations. A research study concluded that personal and family disaster preparedness and planning were found to significantly reduce the professional’s perceived role strain and conflict, according to the Military Family Resource Centre.

“The emergency preparedness sessions remind family to have quality conversations around what to do if and when crisis strikes. I’ve seen first-hand what happens to people – military or civilian – in these situations and how advance access to a strategy can improve their ability to cope and have a positive outcome,” said Szastkiw.

When counselling families preparing for the deployment of loved ones to disaster zones, she reassures them that the deployments themselves are extremely well organized and involve highly trained professionals. Families feel better knowing there are safety protocols in place at all levels.

“There are a lot of moving parts in the lives of military and first responder families, so having someone to talk to who innately understands the lifestyle is a great help. That’s the genesis behind our upcoming emergency preparedness sessions. We’re giving families tools to enable them to reinforce their resilience and prepare them for those times when they are apart,” said Tracy Cromwell, BCMFRC executive director.

The emergency preparedness sessions for families of military members and first responders take place in Kelowna on Oct. 28 and Vernon on Oct. 29 respectively. Additional sessions are planned for Trail and Chilliwack in the New Year. To find out more to or sign up, go to www.bcmfrc.com.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna, Vernon biathletes hit top 10 to end Olympics

Julia Ransom and Emma Lunder close out the Olympics with 10th place finish

Date set for Silver Creek man’s bail ruling

Curtis Sagmoen will learn on Feb. 28 if he will be released from custody

No resolutions for unhappy for north Westside residents

Self-governance hopes remain distant dream

UPDATE: Serwa second fastest in ski cross seeding

Kelowna ski cross racer has solid run in the seeding round of the women’s ski cross event

Resources for victims of sexual violence to be made available at Hedley concert

A gathering is planned for outside Prospera Place on the date of the concert,

Thief helps himself to cash register

Vernon business asking for public’s help to identify suspect

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Sports coach makes “great strides” in counselling

Peace bond settles charges of assault causing bodily harm in Princeton BC

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team ends 24-game winning streak

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Voices of Nature reaches elementary students

By Barb Brouwer, Observer contributor Music has the power to touch the… Continue reading

Canadian support split on Trans Mountain pipeline debate: Poll

Angus Reid poll surveying Canadians on pipeline stance finds no clear winner

Tired of ‘big city life’? One-stoplight town hosts contest to lure in city slickers

Contest by BC Rural Centre hopes to attract city folks to a small town in the Kootenays

Student protest outside White House a snapshot of American gun debate

Demonstrators take part in a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House

Feds can’t do much to fight fake news in Canada

Federal government can’t do much to fight fake news: Canadian Heritage documents

Most Read