BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Two Baton Rouge emergency responders will be featured in a documentary called “Into the Unknown — A Paramedics’ Journey.”
Best friends and colleagues Nicky and Nicole are going on 15 years as emergency responders. They say para-medicine requires top physical and mental health.
“It does take a mental toll on you professionally and personally,” said Nicky Johnson, unit commander of EMS in East Baton Rouge Parish.
A new documentary is highlighting those challenges — featuring Nicky and Nicole. Filmmakers follow them on their journey as paramedics. The two decided to participate to highlight the mental strength it takes to do what they do.
“It is okay to not be okay because the things that we see, you can’t unsee that,” said Johnson.
Experts say about 30 percent of first responders develop mental health disorders, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nicole Jagers says that’s been challenged even more because of the spike in violent crime in the Capital Area, which pushed them to seek help.
“We respond to the shootings, the domestic violence, the stabbing. Pretty much every day, every shift,” she said.
“Victims are now women and children and at one point women and children were off-limits,” said Johnson.
But they’re not alone — standing side by side day after day.
“Nobody understands your struggle in a shot other than somebody who you are in the same field with, the same battle,” said Jagers.
The documentary will premiere in theatres at the start of 2023. More information on the documentary is available here.