February 20, 2021
Fidelis Family Retreat (501c3) is ready to host our first “Fireworks Desensitization Class” for Veterans and their support systems. The class will consist of approximately 2 hours of class time indoors and about 2 hours of fireworks demonstrations and practicum to be held outside. The class will be held Saturday February 20th from 1pm-5pm, and it is free of charge.
The purpose of the fireworks desensitization course is to provide a positive experience with pyrotechnics for Veterans who currently experience an adverse physical or emotional response to fireworks, currently preventing them from engaging in community and family events involving pyrotechnics.
The course is designed to provide multiple levels of training, which together provide opportunities for improved tolerance and engagement in fireworks related activities. The first level of training involves the education on the basic composition and methodology of pyrotechnic display operations. The purpose of this education is based upon the psychological benefit of demystification. Essentially, knowledge is power. By understanding the why and how of professional fireworks displays, veterans have an alternative focus and basic understanding of what is happening during a professional fireworks show, empowering them to engage in a positive way.
The second level of training involves understanding the mental and physical responses that are responsible for the adverse reactions when exposed to fireworks. By having competent and experienced mental health professionals provide education, veterans may understand why their body responds adversely to fireworks. This education can help to remove the stigma associated with negative reactions to fireworks and can help the veterans feel more at ease.
The third level of education involves exposure to both consumer and professional grade fireworks in a controlled, methodical setting. The intention is to allow each veteran to utilize the best strategies for each of them individually as they are exposed to different types of pyrotechnics.Through the help of their family member, mental health volunteers, and professional pyrotechnicians, the veterans may choose the most appropriate coping method for them when exposed to each type of fireworks effect. At the end of the course, the Veterans are encouraged to provide feedback and plan repeated exposures in order to further reinforce and empower a positive response to fireworks.