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Dearborn Heights residents, first responders cope with tragedy

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – As the community continues to grieve the loss of four children killed in Dearborn Heights, first responders with the Dearborn Heights Fire Department say they are also trying to cope and some of them received special training to deal with critical situations the day before.

Justin Umin with the Dearborn Heights Fire Department was one of the firefighters that went to Critical Incident Stress Management training and was called in immediately Wednesday morning to help his colleagues.

"It was kind of a perfect storm in situations of just learning how to hopefully handle situations like this. When something like this happens, a critical incident involving trauma of minors or people we can relate to, that really has an impact on someone's personal life," said Umin.

Umin has been working with some of his colleagues to help them cope with the grief.

"If we give them the information and let them know that these things are going to be happening to them and it's going to happen for the next couple of weeks or over time, hopefully it'll get better," he said.

Umin said their first responders just started going to the training last year.

"We never used to do things like this before. It used to be just suck it up, you get over it, this is what we do. Those events pile up on top of each other and on top of each other and eventually you'll overflow with information and different things will set you off, you'll have different triggers," said Umin.

He said it is the same for the community as a whole.

"Some can take more, some can take less, but we are all human so it's going to take a toll no matter what," said Umin.

The department hopes to be able to send more firefighters next year.
 


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