Who cares for the caretakers?

That’s the vital question at the heart of producer/director Kevin Eastwood’s deeply insightful and heart-stirring documentary AFTER THE SIRENS, a look at the ramifications of being an Emergency Paramedic in today’s challenging times.

Powerfully revealed through candid first-hand accounts of three Paramedics, the film underscores the perils suffered by those who “just want to help” via caring for survivors of traumatic events like accidents, suicides and murders.

The upshot is everything from depression, drug and alcohol addictions and extensive Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the very worst–the rate of suicide among paramedics is 5 times the national average.

Dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event is a horror of its own and PTSD is not being recognized as its fallout. Even if a paramedic perceives they have PTSD, admitting it often doesn’t occur as they’re fearful of losing their jobs or families due to the stigma still surrounding mental health issues.

These brave and nurturing professionals who tend us when we’re at our worst, our most vulnerable, deserve to be heard and protected too.

Text and photo of BCAS paramedic Clive Derbyshire provided and reproduced with permission from CBC/Radio Canada.

Watch the trailer here.

Watch the documentary here.

Thank you for taking some time out of your busy day.  As a paramedic who has struggled for years with PTSD and has thought seriously of suicide several times — this is an important issue that requires significant support!  What are your thoughts on paramedic PTSD and the suicide rate?  Please comment below.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Photograph by Jassa Campbell.


5 thoughts on “Who cares for the caretakers?

  1. Hello Dugg: Thanks for alerting us about the video. Having been a Paramedic for 33 years, I have had fellow Paramedics go through this and some ending their lives. In the “old” days, you were told to suck it up or quit. There was no help to be had at all. I am happy this is being looked at in a better light.


    1. William, I have been working long enough to remember those “old” days. Unfortunately, they were not too long ago, and in some areas this attitude still permeates. It is great that we have begun to look at it in a new light and are beginning to end the stigma. We have a long way to go still.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.


  2. Hi Dugg,

    Your sharing the Paramedics documentary could not come in more timely. Last Thursday I was involved in a transit accident in which a car hit a pedestrian. All transit signals were observed correctly. It was raining, and the driver’s visibility was reduced by the water droplets on the windshield. As the car moved forward to turn left the pedestrian kept walking towards the middle of the street. The driver then closed the turn ratio sharper hitting the unseen person. I was the pedestrian, and received superb help from nearby people that watched what happened. The first respondents on the scene were the paramedics who proceeded to take care of me immediately and in an incredibly coordinated fashion. Corey, stayed with me all the way to the Emergency Room, and took care of signing me in. Eventhough the accident is very minor in comparison to the average case they help, I could not thank him enough. Outstanding job!

    Thank you.


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