Israeli Trauma Trainers Come To South Mississippi To Help First Responders

Two experts trained in trauma came all the way from Israel to South Mississippi to help first responders.

The four-day training session focused on giving first responders the tools they need to cope with traumatic situations.

"Whenever they treat injured people or a family of victims, the way they react and approach these people will make a difference in the way these people cope," said Dr. Yehuda Shacham, Israeli Trauma Coalition.

Shacham says police and firefighters have to understand they touch people on psychological and social levels when they respond to help.

At the same time, Dr. Shacham says first responders can not forget they too are human. Gulfport Police Officer Michael Saucier agrees.

"The biggest part is going to be our ability to take this back to our fellow police officers and enhance their abilities to cope with traumatic incidences and continue doing the things we do as a stronger police force," said Saucier.

The Center for Community Resilience organized the session. There will be three more.

The center's goal is to train a core group who can go out and teach others how to cope with traumatic events.  The United Jewish Federation of America gave the center a $275,000 grant for the program.

The international guests who presented said they are confident this group can pick up where they left off.

"I was impressed.  They were very aware of the people's need, very sensitive and compassionate," said Shacham.

The United Jewish Federation of America also gave the center a $126,000 grant to help teachers in the classroom.

Right now the program is at Nichols and Gorenflo Elementary Schools in Biloxi.