From Author to Advocate
Chris Turnbull has been functioning in some capacity in the emergency services for over 20 years as a junior firefighter, EMT, firefighter, and Paramedic. Chris has served in a variety of employment models including private ambulance, hospital-based, firehouse-based, volunteer, and government-based. Chris has been an educator since 2010, teaching BLS at a local hospital and developing training programs for coworkers.
Chris, his wife, two children, and 3 Newfoundland dogs are currently residents of the Delaware Beaches. Chris can be found in the summertime on a paddleboard in the bay or at a high school football game on a given Friday night in the fall.
2020 will go down in history as a hard-hitting year that we as EMS providers will never forget. Chris was not immune to the effects of the ever changing policies, political unrest, and family stressors. In September of 2020, however, Chris found himself in a position that it was time to reach out for help. With no support structure and a deteriorating home life, it was time to make some changes. Chris found a spiritual counselor who aided him in finding his way back to church, a community that has been a huge support for him on a number of fronts. He learned how to communicate better at home and understand his children’s behaviors and needs better. He learned to journal rather than hold onto the emotions of the day.
In April 2021, Chris published his first book, The Double-Edged Sword. The book is a reflection of over 20 years of his career with lessons learned the hard way. He calls on EMS providers to take care of each other. Watch out for signs that the home life is not good. Watch for signs that a coworker is in a bad place. And he builds awareness of the stresses that push EMS providers to the edge of the cliff. Chris has since been an advocate for the mental health of EMS providers across the country and with the help of his book has set foot on the international stage.