First Responders: What Do They Face Following Tragedy?

December 18, 2012 Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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December 18, 2012 Updated Dec 18, 2012 at 7:47 PM EDT


BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The Newtown, Connecticut Community has seen an overwhelming amount of support from first responders following the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. With the Connecticut Community trying to heal following this devastation, first responders also face some healing of their own.

"They're professionals. They have a job to do and they do it very well, but at some point they'll need to speak to people about the things they saw," said Buffalo State College Associate Professor of Psychology Robert Delprino. "Especially more so when they have children at home near the same age of the victims."

In Erie County first responders always hope tragedy will not hit Western New York, but if so, they're prepared for anything both during and after an incident. Officials say they try to follow the three C's : communication, coordination & cooperation.

"We believe heavily in those 3 C's. We bring those key elements to the table every time," said Erie County Emergency Services Deputy Fire Coordinator Tiger Schmittendorf. "Whether it's in a training exercise or a real emergency. I think there's also a 4th 'C' and that's community. Our community can have a tremendous impact on the success or failure of any type of emergency or disaster.

In times of crisis, doctors stress the importance of seeking help. Especially when it comes to first responders, who always give back to their community in good times and bad.