It's been more than three months since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 20 children and six adults, and as a clearer picture emerges of the day's events, it's becoming evident the first responders suffered significant emotional trauma when they arrived on the scene. In an effort to help them overcome these challenges, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy recently approved a fund to pay for their psychological treatment, reports CBS New York.
The fund was the idea of several Connecticut legislators, including House Minority Speaker Larry Cafero, and will be comprised of donations raised by corporations and the public. Offering the fund is important, Malloy says, because psychological treatment is often not covered by health plans, leaving first responders to have to choose between skipping treatment and paying hefty out of pocket expenses.
"The trauma is being felt and will be experienced for a period of time. So there may be people- the volunteer firemen or state troopers or police officers – who may experience, a year from now or two years from now difficulties in their lives," Malloy told CBS. "Some of them are in situations where they might not get the help they need relying on traditional methods or policies, and so we're setting up this fund."
The effects of responding to the shooting have already been evident. During a recent meeting with New Orleans police officials, Connecticut State Police Colonel Danny Stebbins said many first responders have quit their jobs due to the trauma, according to NBC Connecticut.