Being one of the first people on the scene of a traumatic event can take a toll on even the most well-trained emergency responder. High-stress, emotionally-charged scenes such as the recent natural gas explosion in Sun Prairie that took the life of Sun Prairie Fire Department Capt. Cory Barr, and the death of paramedic and firefighter Rick Garner Jr. who died in April after a 48-hour shift at the Madison Fire Department, can cause undue stress on both first responders and their families. With the threat of both physical and emotional harm, fire and emergency response organizations are getting creative when it comes to finding ways to protect their own. The Madison Fire Department, for one, has begun utilizing a system of peer-to-peer support to ease the tensions of the job.