WCEMS Peer Support



Managing emergencies is tough work.  As EMS workers we are exposed to challenges every shift that some people may never have to experience.  Williamson County EMS Peer Support is staffed by people that understand the importance of physical and mental fitness.  We're your brothers and sisters, your EMS family and we're here to help.  

 It is and always will be confidential. 


What is Stress

Stress is a physical and psychological response to a perceived threat, challenge, or change.

Acute Stress

An acute stress response usually occurs immediately but can occur up to t24 hrs after an incident. This is the bodies "flight or flight" response and is a direct result of the sudden release of large amounts of adrenaline, glucose and cortisol into the bloodstream.

Delayed Stress

Occurs 48rs or more after an incident. Symptoms are similar to that of an acute stress response and can be misleading due to the delayed onset.

Cumulative Stress

Often referred to as "Burnout", cumulative stress occurs over time. It is often the result of a lack of work/life balance.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD is the result of exposure to a trauma that is so extreme, that it is beyond an individual's coping capacity. This results in repeated activation of the "fight or flight" mechanism.

Effects of Stress

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Tremors/chills
  • Lack of coordination
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Tachypnea
  • Tachycardia
  • Hypertension
  • Headache/Body aches
  • Sleep distrubances
Physiological & Behavioral:
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Fear/Guilt/glucose
  • Isolation/Anger/Irritability
  • Loss of interest in job, family, or hobbies
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Nightmares
  • Replaying incident over and over
  • Increased alcohol, nicotine, or drug intake
  • Slower thought processes
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Confusion or disorientation (especially to time and place)
  • Decreased problem solving ability
  • Memory Loss
  • Short attention span

What Can You Do?
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Eat well and stay hydrated
  • Be physically active
  • Try to keep a normal schedule
  • Epress your feelings
  • Talk to loved onsetFind balance, take time off, and enjoy life outside of work
  • Know when to seek help
When Should You Seek Help?
  • Nightmares or recurrent through that do not self resolve after two weeks
  • Any change in behaviour that does not self resolve within two weeks
  • Thoughts of self harm
How Can Peer Support Help?
  • Listen and provide emotional SupportBe an advocate
  • Assist friends or families in understanding effects of stress
  • Provide additional resources

Our Mission

The peer support team is made up of fellow medics dedicated to supporting the mental health of our colleagues. We are all train in basic individual and group crisis management as well as mental health first aid. Our roll is to provide initial support during and after a stressful event. We are also here to provide additional mental health resources as needed. Confidentially between team members and field staff is protected by law and will be upheld at all times.

Aditional resources

  • For any immediate life treat, do not hesitate to call 911.
  • Williamson County Mobile Outreach team
    The MOT is staffed with trained counselors from Outside the EMS department. 512-943-3545
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
    The EAP is a service that can refer an employee or family member to an appropriate counselor.
  • Nationnal Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Bluebonnet Trails Community Services
    Our mission includes the provision of valued services to adults with serious mental illness or emotional disorders.
    512-255-1720  Crisis Hotline: 800-841-1255