Stress injury is the term used by the military in Combat and Operational Stress First Aid and adopted by many first responder agencies to describe occupational injuries that occur in the presence of overwhelming stress and exposure to psychological stress in the line of duty (professional or volunteer).

While Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often used synonymously with stress injuries, occupational stress injuries occur on a continuum, with both early and late changing effects of stress exposure. PTSD often represents later changing reactions.


Anyone can be injured. Like other injury types, stress injuries are best supported when recognized early and mitigated.

Our Alliance presented a three part webinar series on calibrating the stress continuum for use by police, fire, EMS and dispatchers in partnership with ResponderStrong.

Part 1: Stress and the Human Machine

What if PTSD wasn’t viewed as a disorder at all, but one of the most adaptive survival mechanisms ever created and still functioning.

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Part 2: Preparing and Caring for Exposure in Real Time

Stress injuries occur on a continuum with PTSD as one of many presentations.

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Part 3: Mission Satisfaction and Moving Towards Green

If mitigating stress injury was as easy as getting more sleep, we would have done that already.

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