Our Mission: FCTRT is a nonprofit alliance of mental health professionals dedicated to helping First Responders and the Fairfield County community heal from trauma, tragedy, and stress.
FCTRT’S Origin Story
Help Us Support Fairfield County’s Hometown Heroes!
Trauma Affects Many and We Are Here to Help
How We Began – When Called, We Embraced Their Request
Our organization was established in 2011 in response to a horrific tragedy that occurred in Stamford, Connecticut on Christmas day when three children and their grandparents lost their lives in a blaze that will forever be imprinted on the memory of our community.
We received a call for emotional help from the Stamford Fire Department and responded.
The loss of children is something all of us know is beyond true human comprehension. So, for a minute we ask you to walk in the shoes of those seventy firefighters who valiantly fought to save these precious lives and ask yourself if you could live unaffected by this tragic loss and then return to your own family to try to celebrate this holiday. These brave first responders knew they were struggling with the emotional impact of that event and were brave enough to seek our help.
And Grew – We Organized Our Team to Respond
When the Stamford Fire Department called, seven experienced trauma therapists responded to support the firefighters’ emotional struggles. We learned a great deal from this experience and came to realize that unfortunately this would not be the only time our services would be needed. We needed to stretch our capacity and resources as best we could to accommodate these extraordinary men and women who are all too often called upon to save us and members of our community.
We formed Fairfield County Trauma Response Team (FCTRT) to enable us to respond to future local crises.
The Need Continues
Less than a year later on December 14, 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred and FCTRT members found themselves responding to yet another devastating event, this one of epic proportions. Our services were stretched to a much broader group of first responders to include more members of our community including: law enforcement, dispatch, teachers, psychotherapists, medical staff, clergy, and funeral directors.
2020 brought the unique needs of the frontline COVID-19 responders. We offered our support to these brave people both individually and in support groups.
Our goal is always to help process trauma, strengthen resilience and build post-traumatic growth. During COVID doctors, nurses and hospital staff members witnessed death and dying without the patient’s family members close by in staggering numbers. Nursing home staff members were filling the void of the critical family role during patients’ isolation. Clergy and funeral directors were tasked with helping people grieve without the traditional ceremonies that are so meaningful in the grieving process. These heroes put themselves at risk for us. Without treatment first responders are three times more likely to develop duty induced Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).*
And we are ready!
Today, FCTRT has 18 active trauma-informed psychotherapist volunteers ready to respond when needed. We are also supported by an additional 9 volunteer clinicians we can call on.
We stand ready for what may come!
What We Do – Their Call is a 911 Call to FCTRT
- Offer three pro bono group or individual sessions to deal with traumatic stress experienced from local disasters
- Facilitate free workshops at regional first responder organizations, with curriculum specifically designed to arm First Responders with tools and techniques to support themselves, their teams, and their families
- Provide free, ongoing support groups for First Responders and their families to offer continuing personalized support for their unique experiences.
- Advise the development of and then mentor peer support groups within Public Safety departments
- Practice evidence-based, trauma-informed mental health treatment
- Maintain an extensive referral service of trauma-informed psychotherapists
Help Us Help Our First Responders and Frontline Heroes.
FCTRT is committed to making a difference in the lives of our members and our community by addressing the wounds of trauma. This commitment is affirmed in our strategic plan which has diversity, equality and inclusion at its core. Let us reach out to one another and heal the wounds of historic and present-day trauma.
Clinical Team Page
EMDR.com – emdr.com
EMDRIA – emdria.org
EMDR Network – emdrnetwork.org