Brush Out: Thriving a Career as a First Responder


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The term “Brush Out” refers to an attempt to cover our tracks so that no one will notice. Sometimes the Brush Out is so well done that the only people who can tell are those who have passed by this road before. In my career I experienced trauma, loss and disappointment. I learned to cope by trial and error and came out on the other side with the knowledge to help others on this journey.

A career risking your life for the sake of others is an honorable career. There is an amazing statistic in Law Enforcement. That statistic reflects the fact that you are more likely to die by suicide than by an assailant. Too many agencies ignore this fact. First Responders are trained and equipped to deal with traumatic and difficult situations. They are trained to run towards what most people by instinct run away from. Yet, in my opinion we are not trained and given the equipment to deal with the toll our chosen profession has on our lives.

Officers get stuck in a fatal funnel. A fatal funnel that they believe the one thing they have in life is in jeopardy or is gone and they convince themselves the world would be a better place without them. Suicide to them is a desperate attempt to stop the pain they are causing to themselves and others.

Instead of this fatal funnel we should learn to adapt and cope with the ever changing facets of our career choice up and through retirement. We must remember how to stay connected to the good things in life (family, hobbies, fitness, friends etc…).

Terence Shigg is the CEO of TLShigg Inc. (www.tlshigginc.com) Mr. Shigg has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He has utilized the techniques in this book in his work, in his private practice, and in his personal life. It has worked for him and it will work for you.


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