About Crisis Support and CISM

Critical incident stress management is a strategy designed to mitigate stress following particularly stressful events. Crisis support techniques allow personnel to explore the physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral reactions to critical incidents. Crisis support techniques have both psychological support and educational components.


A Critical Incident Defined

A critical incident has been defined as an unusually challenging event that has the potential to create positive growth or significant human distress. Ultimately, a critical incident is defined by its impact on a group or individual. Examples of critical incidents include:
  • Line of duty death
  • Serious line of duty injury
  • Suicide of co-worker
  • Disasters
  • Law enforcement shooting
  • Accidental injuries to anothers caused by one's actions
  • Significant events involving children
  • Prolonged incident which ends in a loss
  • Events with excessive media interest
  • Life-threatening experiences
  • Severe abuse
  • Homicides
  • Terrorism
  • High publicity crimes of violence
  • Any event which interferes with usual coping mechanisms

The Benefit of a Crisis Support Network

Crisis Support teams are volunteer organizations and there is no charge for their services.
Crisis Support Network teams are available to provide the following interventions:
  • Pre-incident education
  • Defusing (same shift of incident)
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (ideally within 24-72 hours of the event)
  • Crisis Management Briefings
  • Debriefings for family and significant others of emergency service workers
  • On-scene services for large scale/mass casualty incidents
  • Demobilizations/de-escalations for large scale/mass casualty incidents
  • One time one-on-one interventions


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