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Sand Springs Crash: How tragic events can take a toll on first responders

Sand Springs police
Posted at 7:39 PM, Sep 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 21:19:09-04

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. — Crash scenes like the one in Sand Springs on Thursday afternoon are difficult for first responders.

2 News Oklahoma spoke to Sand Springs Deputy Police Chief Todd Enzbrenner about the toll accidents like this can take on them.

“When you have a tight-knit community like this and you have three children die on their lunch break, it affects everybody,” Enzbrenner said.

MORE >>> Families remember teens killed in Sand Springs crash

He says working scenes like the one that killed three teenagers Thursday afternoon is taxing on first responders — and the memories of those moments, never leave.

"It’s always there. I remember every event that I’ve seen, that was tragic, from 31 years ago.”

Enzbrenner says it’s also difficult on paramedics and firefighters working the scene, and particularly for those officers who have to notify the families that their child, isn't coming home. The deputy chief says he’s already expressed his appreciation to the officers who had the difficult task of notifying the families. But he says that’s a burden those who carry the badge choose to take on.

He also says departments generally have systems in place, in case an officer needs to talk about the experience.

“Generally, what we do on events like this is we offer them a chance to debrief with a professional or a peer who has experienced stuff like this and they can talk about their emotions.”

Enzbrenner says the community outreach has already been phenomenal. But he says the victim’s families are the ones who need the most support.

“I want to pray for the families, I want everybody to hold them close to their heart and wrap your arms around them. And give them all the love that they need right now.”

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