Today's workforce is facing a multitude of challenges. Most individuals adjust well to the demands encountered during an emotionally challenging event or during challenging times. Individuals often have strong emotional defenses that carry them through and let them “get the job done.” Yet sometimes the emotional aftershock (or stress reaction) can be difficult. Signs and symptoms of this emotional aftershock may last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or longer.

The majority of first responders assume tragedy and emotional exhaustion are part of the role and will not seek out support, however, research indicates most of these same individuals welcome support if it is offered to them. 

A successful peer support program offers a supportive and confidential process that helps first responders minimize guilt, anxiety and stress by beginning the healing process immediately after an event. The interventions play a significant part in their recovery and wellness.

LifeGuard is a modified version of the Caring for Our Program. The LifeGuard program, developed with the support and participation of Dr. Scott, is designed specifically for the unique environment that exists within smaller, leaner organizations. The workshop aligns with the collaborative and educational format of the Caring for Our Own program and is facilitated by Dr. Scott, Shelby Cox, NREMT-P and Brian LaCroix, FACPE, CPPS, NRP (ret.).

LifeGuard provides first responder organizations with the knowledge and tools necessary to establish Peer Support teams using Second Victim concepts to address the increasing needs of all emergency response workers. 


Join others from around the world as Dr. Susan Scott presents the research, and Shelby Cox and Brian LaCroix present the knowledge and tools you'll need to successfully implement a peer support program at your first responder organization. The workshop fee includes:

  • Three (3) collaborative and educational sessions (6 hours total)
  • Downloadable resources, available during and after the workshop and continually updated
  • Networking and sharing groups through LinkedIn, follow-up calls, emails

All facets of the program are designed to support implementation, celebrate successes, and assist with challenges. Attendees are encouraged to engage and learn from others through participation in session breakout groups and interaction with the speakers.

The program consists of:

  • three (3) guided workshops designed to educate, inform, and train you on why and how to implement a peer-support program; attendees are encouraged to engage and learn from others, participate in in-session breakout groups and interact with the trainers. 
  • participation in a supportive post-workshop community made up of fellow trainers via special LinkedIn groups, trainer calls, emails, and more.

At the end of the program, you will:

  • understand components of a Second Victim Peer Support program and how they can be applied to a broader emergency responder workforce well-being initiative; and
  • customize and define a plan to deploy and sustain a peer support network within your organization.

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Disciplines from Emergency Medical Services, Fire, Police and Dispatch will benefit greatly by completing the LifeGuard train-the-trainer program, designed specifically for First Responders. 

The format provides the building blocks to help equip attendees with the strategy, implementation tools and follow-up to successfully implement a peer support program in an organization.

Past attendees include educators, chiefs, managers, medical directors, HR staff, and anyone with a passion to create a support program. 

Hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, surgery centers, home health and similar healthcare organizations may benefit greatly by attending the Center for Patient Safety's Caring for Our Own Workshop, designed for healthcare organizations with a larger and more complex organizational structure. Caring for Our Own is the base program from which LifeGuard is developed. Caring for Our Own was developed by Dr. Susan Scott in partnership with the Center for Patient Safety, and provides healthcare organizations with the knowledge and tools necessary to establish Peer Support teams using Second Victim concepts to address the increasing needs of all healthcare workers.



  1. Understand basic concepts of the Second Victim experience
  2. Identify the Recovery Stages after a traumatic event or during challenging times
  3. Understand potential career outcomes: Drop Out, Survive, Thrive
  4. Begin conversations on next steps to implement a peer support network at your organization


  1. Identify barriers to seeking help
  2. Increase personal ability to have a critical conversation
  3. Understand four key components of a supportive conversation
  4. Discuss the three-tiered support model, identifying community and internal resources


  1. Describe the 6 steps to develop a peer support program
  2. Explain how LifeGuard can be integrated into your Patient Safety Plan
  3. Describe implementation ideas for your organization



Susan D. Scott, Ph.D., RN, CPPS, FAAN

Dr. Scott has practiced the art and science of nursing in a variety of clinical settings that include Neonatal ICU, Neonatal/Pediatric transport, ambulatory pediatrics, patient safety and legal nurse consulting. Her research interest involves the development of effective institutional support networks to address clinician support in the aftermath of unanticipated clinical outcomes and events. Her research has defined the second victim phenomenon allowing for the design and deployment of the ‘first of its kind’ peer support network, the forYOU Team. She has authored numerous articles and textbook chapters related to the topic of the second victim phenomenon and healthcare workforce well-being. Dr. Scott has partnered with agencies such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, American Hospital Association, The Joint Commission, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to ensure comprehensive clinician support interventions are accessible to healthcare institutions around the globe.


One of the first programs online that actually provided practical applications to add to our program. We greatly appreciate everything, each presenter brought to the training.
Workshop Attendee
What I liked most was the step-by-step process to establish a peer support program and the interaction with others either setting up peer support or improving their program.
Workshop Attendee
I enjoyed the class interaction portions, whether through groups or chat.
Workshop Attendee
What I liked most was that every instructor was very helpful and open to any questions or concerns.
Workshop Attendee
I really liked the sections on how to talk to people and the different ways to go about the conversations.
Workshop Attendee
I liked the group activities most, and the open discussion about second victims and how our first responders can be impacted.
Workshop Attendee