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Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)
January 22nd, 2014
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is available to fire police and other emergency personnel.
What is a ‘Critical Incident’?Any situation faced by emergency service providers that causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions which have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at the scene or later.Examples:suicides, serious injury or death of a emergency provider, prolonged incidents, injury or death of children, mass casualty incidents, threats to emergency provider’s safety, and natural disasters.
When to request the CISM Team? Any time you or other emergency responders are having difficulty dealing with an incident or the situation suggests intervention.
Samples of Stress Symptoms:
Cognitive (Thinking) – concentration, memory, attention span, calculations, decision-making, problem solving. Emotional (Feelings) – Loss of emotional control, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, feeling lost, overwhelmed. Physical Body) – muscle tremors, chest pain, gastrointestinal issues, difficulty breathing, headaches, elevated blood pressure. Behavioral (Actions) - Excessive silence, sleep disturbance, unusual behavior, change in eating habits, withdrawal from contact, change in work habits.
What kind of "Help" is available? Depending on circumstances, services may include: Pre-Incident Education and Information, On-Scene Support, Defusing, Debriefing, Crisis Management Briefings, Individual and Family Contacts, Referrals and Follow-Up.
Who is the service provider? Eastern PA EMS Council.
When requesting "Help" needed information:
Name and phone number of contact person
Type of incident and incident location
Approximate number of involved personnel
How is the CISM team contacted? Through your chain of command or your company's / department's policy regarding CISM. Your department head can contact the team 24/7 on the team response hot line 610-973-1624.