Ep. 19 Delivering Tragedy: How a Paramedic is Revolutionizing Death Notifications

Forensics Found

14-09-2023 • 31 mins

When Alex Jabr, a seasoned paramedic, was thrown into the traumatic task of delivering death notifications without any prior training, it sparked a quest for change. Now a continuing education provider, she's designed a nationally accredited course to help others navigate this delicate task with compassion and understanding, a story we are diving into on this week’s episode of the Forensics Found Podcast.

Kat and Alex’s conversation also turns to the topic of dealing with death in different contexts. They discuss the disparity in paramedic programs globally, highlighting how this variance affects the treatment of cold cases, missing individuals, and unidentified remains. They emphasize the need for direct communication and mental health support with families, witnesses, and friends, something all too often overlooked in these challenging situations. Their discussion also underlines how 'Nathan's Bill', a law passed in reaction to a distressing incident in Kentucky, has been instrumental in bringing about change in the way death notifications are delivered.

Kat and Alex discuss the complexities of child death investigations. They look at the broader implications for the families involved in these tragic events and the challenges confronting medical examiners and coroners. They also navigate how responders can deal with traumatic events and the importance of rest and emotional well-being. Alex shares her personal struggles and triumphs within these demanding circumstances, giving us a glimpse into the world of a first responder. This episode offers valuable insights not just for those involved in these challenging situations but for anyone seeking to understand the importance of empathy and communication in the face of death.

Topics Covered

The Importance of Death Notification Training

Importance of Acknowledging and Addressing Death

Important Considerations in Child Death Investigations

Reflecting on Stressful Day and Sleep

Resources Mentioned

Nathan’s Law

Emergency Resilience - CE Course for First Responders

Death Communication Training for First Responders

About Alex Jabr

Alexandra Jabr, Ph.D., EMT-P, began her career in EMS in 2003 and has been teaching since 2008. Alexandra holds a master’s degree in death, grief, and bereavement and earned her Ph.D. in depth psychology, researching psychedelic therapy for first responders with PTSD. Alexandra is the creator of Emergency Resilience, a continuing education platform dedicated to helping first responders build resilience by integrating marginal topics into routine training, and the course “Death Communication for First Responders: How to Deliver Unfortunate News.”

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*All conversations between guest and host represent the opinions of the participants and do not reflect official statements or facts from any represented agencies.

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