Thanks to Scott Pantall, a dispatcher from Colorado, I became aware of a published study linking dispatchers and PTSD. As a regular reader of this blog knows, it is a point of concern for me personally.
I pulled up the actual Brief Report study published in the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, written by Heather Pierce and Michelle M Lilly, both of Department of Psychology, Northern Illinois University.
For the news article: http://www.niutoday.info/2012/03/29/niu-psychology-study-links-9-1-1-dispatchers-with-post-traumatic-stress-disorder-symptoms/
For Brief Report published by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jts.21687/full
What's really cool about this article and research, for me, is Heather Pierce worked for more than a decade as an emergency dispatcher and knows from personal experience how our job affects so many parts of our lives.
Co-Author Michelle Lilly is quoted, "the new research is the first published study to reveal the extent of on-duty emotional distress experienced by dispatchers."
Thought I might disagree with their findings that only 3.5 percent of the survey participants (171 on-the-job emergency dispatchers from 24 states) reported symptoms severe enough to qualify for a diagnosis of PTSD, I will be exploring their research and discuss it here further, Part 2. Maybe Part 3.
And hope this opens the lines for further research about Dispatchers and PTSD.