Surfside first responders impacted by trauma receive help from Central Florida nonprofit

UCF Restores helping first responders in Surfside

The first responders who helped in Surfside worked 12-hour shifts, moved heavy debris and witnessed the devastation.

Alongside them, for sometimes 15 hours at a time, was a group called UCF Restores.

It’s a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping first responders affected by trauma.

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Deborah Beidel is a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida and is the Executive Director for UCF Restores.

She said when firefighters with the Central Florida Task Force 4 were called down to Surfside, they got the call as well.

“We’re also on standby in case there is a particularly horrific event or something that saddens them,” Beidel said.

She said they check on the men and women during their breaks and at the end of their shifts, providing phycological first aid.

There were even times when Beidel said they were called in the middle of the night to provide support during a traumatic moment.

Beidel said their support will continue after Surfside and said they have a special line first responders can call.

That phone number is 407- 823 -1657.

About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.