Even First Responders are Affected by Tragedy

An event like last week’s mass murder rocks even the strongest in our community, including those who protect us on a daily basis.

KX News sat down with a couple of Chaplains who help officers, EMTs, and firefighters through hardship.

First Responders saw the aftermath of last week’s tragedy up close. And while they deal with a level of trauma every day, The Mandan Police Chaplain says it was like nothing they had ever seen before.

Mandan Police Chaplain Bruce Prentice adds, “Makes it a little harder to deal with I think.”

He didn’t see the scene himself, but he was there to talk with first responders and answer questions they had.

Prentice shares, “I don’t think anyone has been confronted with something like this, so evil. And that’s the shock of it. As one officer told me, there was clear evidence of evil.”

He encourages the officers he works with to talk about what happened and express their emotions. Since the incident, the Chaplain has done several ride-alongs with officers.

Prentice explains, “Working with the Police Department you see the dark side of the community, if you will, sometimes anyway.”

Alea Dutchuk is a volunteer Chaplain. She assists Metro Area Ambulance first responders. 

Crisis Care Chaplaincy Volunteer Chaplain explains, “That can include critical incident stress management. It can include grief care if they need it.”

Dutchuk has several first responders in her family, making this job that much more important to her.

She shares, “First Responders are amazing people that deal with tragedies on a daily basis, that most of us can’t imagine. But something like this, as a community, is something that is not normal for any everyday person. So sometimes they need just a little more care than they normally would need.”

Prentice says the community support has also been helpful for officers, which was evident by the about 650 people that came to the memorial service.

The Mandan Police Chaplain says officers told him the ride-alongs were helpful in working through the tragedy.

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