Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Helping First Responders Deal With The Trauma They’ve Seen

Photo credit: New World Library

"Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder's Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart," is a guide for first responders dealing with the emotional consequences of their high-stress jobs. It was written by La Mesa police Captain Dan Willis.

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available.

La Mesa police Captain Dan Willis has seen a lot in his 25 years as a homicide detective and SWAT Captain. It was in the middle of a 5-year murder investigation during which Willis immersed himself in a world of drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes that he realized the job was talking a toll on him.

Willis said he realized he had no feelings or connections to anyone. He felt numb.

"I realized that if I didn't do something about it I would end up killing myself," Willis said.

He said he discovered through trial and error what would help him keep his personal life separate from his work life while he wasn't there, and what would nurture his spirit.

Willis wrote "Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder's Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart," as a guide for first responders dealing with the emotional consequences of their high-stress jobs.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.