SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Missouri Public Safety has launched a free training for first responders on identifying and intervening when stress starts to take a toll on firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and dispatch personnel.

First responders can experience tremendous stress and loss while on the job which can take a toll on not only them but their families as well.

Dan Phillips worked in law enforcement for 30 years and retired in 2018.

“I worked a lot of critical incidents, I lost six friends in the line of duty and I’ve lost 13 friends to suicide,” said Phillips. “Unfortunately that is a normal statistic.”

The Missouri Department of Public Safety has teamed with Warrior’s Rest Foundation to provide Critical Incident management (CISM) training.

“Sucking it up doesn’t work,” said Phillips. “There is nothing normal about this job.”

The free three-day training is offered across the state and is eligible for 27 hours of POST Continuing Law Enforcement Education (CLEE) training credit.

“Missouri is one of the first states where they have put together and said we are going to train all of our first responders,” said Phillips. “So, through a grant, through DPS we are going to be training over the next several years.”

The Missouri Department of Public Safety training will include assisting individuals in crisis and group crisis intervention. There is also a 2 day Peer Support Team Training.

These classes will be offered every two to three weeks in 2022 across the region in the state. Places include Jefferson City, Columbia, Springfield, Joplin, Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, and Kansas City.