Episode Description

Routine Jobs With Big Consequences

In this episode were thrilled to have Barry Randal, a career first responder of 30 years and excitedly our 1st police officer on the podcast join us to share his story and the inspirational work he’s doing with Operation Soul Surf.

Casting back to his early days Barry remembered a strong sense of community at a young age.   Extended family and friends in the Police Force on the NSW  Coast, were respected those days. He played Rugby League and Rugby Union and the usual things at a young age but once he started to focus on recruiting a friend contacted him to say there was a heavy Police recruiting drive in Victoria.   So he left the sea and surf to move to Melbourne.  

Andy asks how Barry’s role in the Police Force was determined.    In Victoria, they are trained as a General Duty uniformed officer.  After that 2 year foundation, you may specialise in another area, then there is a  ballot process and you could go anywhere. He goes on to explain his posting to Aubury Wodonga after graduating in early 1995.   

It was a bit of a shock for the staff there as well as Barry.   They know how to do stuff quickly and a punk recruit knowing nothing in the middle of their well-oiled rural station.  I did a lot of listening at 21 while my best mate there was 65 and a great mentor. 

At first, it was a good lifestyle until my partner and I had a lethal force incident.  It began as a typical routine noise complaint but rapidly escalated.  Barry’s partner was a female with a good deal more experience than he did and the focus was to resolve things in “Safeway” for all concerned but it didn’t pan out that way.  Barry walked the audience through the backend of a fatal shooting and the timelines starting with his night shift at 11 pm and finishing 4:30 pm the following day.  How that felt to be part of that process.  He expanded on the environment then around mental health and his conflicting advice as to when to return to work.  

First they discussed the merits/ pitfalls of early/delayed return and then move on to the GP presenting issues.  Mainly hyper vigilance causing  “maximum overdrive mentally” for every little job then a “dump” at the end of the day Barry volunteers, which is not good for your body and brain.   Insomnia, low energy, dulling it with a few bourbons was the progression.   Then a good friend of a similar age casually intervened and  eventually encouraged the GP visit which Barry is grateful for.  

Be sure to tune into Part 2 where Barry discusses his PTSD 30 years on,  his personal care plan, how he self manages and the upside that  “Water” provides as therapy for him and others.

Contact –  Barry Randal
Website: http://operationsoulsurf.com
Help Lines Open Arms (VVCS) | Lifeline | RedSix app


Disclaimer: The accounts and stories are “Real lived experiences” of our guests some of the content may trigger Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms in some of our audience. Feedback regarding other organisations, courses and initiatives remains largely uncensored. Whether it’s good or bad they remain the OPINION of our guests and their experiences it is important in building an accurate statistic on what really happens. 
During the course of our conversations sometimes sensitive information may be accidentally mentioned, as such, Invisible Injuries respects the law and sensors any information that may breach Operational Security OPSEC

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