Counselors Work Overtime To Help San Bernardino First Responders

SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — In the week since the attacks that killed 14 and injured 21 in San Bernardino, counselors have been working almost nonstop to help first responders who were on the scene Wednesday.

“No one can prepare for this,” said Nancy Bohl, who has been counseling San Bernardino first responders this week, along with her colleagues at Counseling Team International.

She said she’s seen “a lot of tears, frustration, anger and grief.”

It has been particularly difficult, she said, for first responders to accept that they were not at the scene to stop the attack before it happened.

“[Many were] wishing they were all in the building at the time, which is unrealistic,” she said. “They don’t like that feeling of helplessness. Some of them feel like they were helpless.”

The counseling office has met with at least 30 groups of first responders and their family this week, along with about 50 individual appointments.

“There’s not enough training to train them how they emotionally will be impacted by a large-scale event like this,” Bohl said. “It’s just humanly impossible.”

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