About Michael Swainson

"I never turned 'rescue' Michael off and that is why, in 2009, I was diagnosed with PTSD."

I've been there. As a 25 year veteran of front line first response in Canada's North I know all too well the toll the work can take on our health and happiness. Too often the culture is to ignore the psychological weight of our every day work. As First Responders we don't know how to ask for help  when the stress of the job builds to the breaking point. 

It is my personal mission to give every First Responder the education and tools they need to build 'Psychological Body Armour' (Everly). Whether you are just starting out in your career or a veteran with many years under your belt, it is hard to take care of others when you don't care of yourself.  My goal is to keep you healthy, to keep you working and to keep your family together. 

Over my 25 year career I have worked as an Paramedic, EMS Supervisor, EMS Dispatch Supervisor, Firefighter, Professional Ski Patroller, Disaster Trainer and Evaluator. In the last decade of my career I have specialized in the area of crisis intervention and critical incident stress management. I have trained extensively with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland and the West Coast Post-trauma Retreat in San Rafael, California where I am an advanced peer counsellor.  My training includes topics ranging from: group crisis intervention to suicide prevention, stress management for the trauma service provider, psychological first aid  and the interventions that make up critical incident stress management.