Mental health aids offered after hoax 911 call; deputies resigned at the sight of “dead children” | News

ROCHESTER, Minnesota — It was an exciting day for our area as first responders rushed to the site of active gunmen in local school districts on Wednesday.

While every phone call turned out to be a hoax, the emotional stress of responding to these types of incidents is very real.

Captain James Schueller explained: “I had a deputy in my office this morning who was there, and I think hits like this come home, he said, ‘With the driver there, I was already resigned to the fact that I would see dead children. .”

Olmsted County Sheriff’s Officers were among those who rushed to the scene of a reported active shooting situation at Lourdes High School, but they were unaware that the 911 call at the time was a hoax.

“Your mind and your training take over and you just start telling me to do this. I have to get this done. Then when you clear the building you’re still so alert until the last room is cleared and you know I’m sure there’s no danger behind that door,” Schueller said.

He went on to say that this kind of emotional tension is why the Sheriff’s Office offers a 24/7 Peer Support Team, along with a Chaplaincy Program and Wellness Check-ins to support deputies.

Schueller said, “We are all human and we have these emotions and officers are not exempt from them. We may be able to perform and complete the task or tasks that we have to perform, but the emotions are always underlying that.”

He adds that mental health resources have received positive feedback, which is great news, especially since it was a topic that was once not openly discussed.

“I think what’s perhaps most changed about this profession over the years since I’ve been in it is that there’s no stigma attached to acknowledging feelings and saying, ‘I need help.'” he added. Schueller to.

The department says there are also Critical Incident Debriefs that can be set up after intense incidents. The debriefing only includes delegates or officers involved in the response.

Schueller says a debriefing is still underway after Wednesday’s incident, as it requires greater coordination with at least 65 different squadrons on the scene and multiple departments involved.

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