Number of weeks: 6
Required books?: Yes
Live video session?: Yes, optional
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
This course will explore the lives of First Responders and what they experience in doing the job they have been called to. For the purposes of this course, we consider First Responders to be fire fighters, police, and paramedics.
When one life changes, a whole family is changed. We’ll watch real-life videos of such changes for First Responders and hear what they learned through the process. We’ll also explore this theme in one of the course’s texts.
We’ll also read about PTSD and how it plays a role in a First Responder’s life. As a student, you will be asked to watch current TV shows and videos that portray First Responders. There will be 3 major Assignments (two are listed below under the planning), weekly discussions based on the readings and other resources that will be provided.
Two of your three assignments will be planning events for your local community and your community of faith: Fire Prevention Week in October 6-12, 2019 and First Responder Day, October 28th. Ask to see if you can place these events on your church calendar now.
We might do at least one optional live Zoom meeting, which will include instructor Harriet Wilkin’s husband (a First Responder) joining us in the conversation. You will be able to ask him questions and hear his story.
There are three required books for this course, which you will need to purchase before you begin. Other readings will be provided through the course. Required texts are:
- Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Herman, M.D.
- Burning Shield, by Jason Schechterier
- Trauma + Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World, by Serene Jones
This class is for pastors and for laity who are involved with pastoral care, to help them understand the challenges First Responders face so they can better provide pastoral care to First Responders and their families. The skills learned in this course may also help you provide pastoral care to military veterans. You’ll need at least 6 – 10 hours of work each week to cover the work in this course.
This course is eligible for 1.0 CEU.
About the Instructor
Harriet Wilkin serves as a Local Pastor in the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business of Science in Administration/ Management, and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Critical Communications. Harriet graduated in 2015 with her Master of Divinity degree from Claremont School of Theology.
Harriet has been in ministry in faith communities for nearly 20 years, which includes being involved with children, youth, young adults, adults and those with disabilities. She has also been a caregiver for both her mom and her husband. As a pastor, she offers caregiver support to the community she serves.
Harriet’s website is: https://hwilkin.wixsite.com/hwministries