An Awareness of Vicarious Loss & Grief in Paramedic Service

Matthew Dahlitz


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Sudden traumatic loss of a loved one can be a shocking and devastating event in a person’s life. This same event can also have a significant emotional and psychological impact on paramedics who are the first responders and caregivers in such situations. In an emotionally charged context, especially where some aspect of the case at hand bears a resemblance to the paramedic’s personal circumstances (e.g., a child of the same age), empathic transference of the loss experience can be palpable.

A further vicarious experience can be felt by the counsellor who then hears the stories of paramedics. This booklet explores such a transference of the loss experience and offers guidance for counsellors who are assisting paramedics suffering the emotional turmoil of such events.

The attached PDF download is a very brief look at vicarious trauma in the paramedic field

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