CASTLE HAYNE, NC (WWAY) — Through hurricanes, natural disasters, shootings and more, first responders are always there for the community.
But who is there for them? Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team Ministry was formed after 9-11 to provide emotional and spiritual care to the public.
After seven law enforcement officers in South Carolina were shot last October, they formed a team to care for law enforcement.
Patrick Hall is the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain. He went through the law enforcement chaplain training program in Charlotte.
Hall said this training was extensive, and that it prepped his team to provide top notch support for troubled first responders.
“Today alcoholism, divorce, rate suicide is highest among law enforcement than any other of the jobs,” Hall said. “Throughout the years people were told ‘we’re tough, we can do this, we can take it.’ Now they’re seeing that there is a great need for emotional and spiritual support during times of trauma.”
Hall explained that chaplains should respond within 12 hours of whatever traumatic experience happened, in order for their services to be as effective as possible.