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In a 1996 study by Dr. Kelly found as many as 28% of the First Responders studied reported sensing some sort of STE: presence or communication from the victims of traumatic deaths.  The transition between physical life and post physical existence is not as defined as the cessation of sinus rhythm.  In the United States there are approximately 237,000 traumatic deaths yearly (170,000 accidental, 19,000 firearms, 48,000 suicides) where the transitions are abrupt.  First Responders are present at nearly every one, yet these First Responder STEs are rarely reported. This presentation described Dr. Kelly’s study and discuss the liminal world of that transition to death from the perspective of those who dedicate themselves to interrupting it.

Dr. Richard E. Kelly, EdD, LCPC, holds three graduate degrees and is an alumni of the Hyatt School of Psychology at Clark University. He is a retired Massachusetts State Police Detective Lieutenant and later served as the Assistant Chief of U.S. Interpol Bureau, Chief of the Health and Safety Unit for the U.S. Marshals Service, and Chief of the Employee Assistance Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His clinical work began in 1977 when he founded the State Police Psychological Services Unit (‘Stress Unit’) while assigned to patrol duties. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Maryland and his area of specialty is post-traumatic stress. He has been adjunct faculty at four undergraduate and graduate programs in law enforcement, behavioral health, and pastoral counseling. He continues to date providing psychotherapy in private practice.