Critical Incidents are usually powerful events that have the potential to create a significant and strong physiological response that may produce varying degrees of emotional/physical/cognitive/behavioural reactions at the time of the incident or at a later time, potentially overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope.
The core focus of Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is to help relieve stress reactions in emotionally healthy individuals who have experienced traumatic events.
Tough Callouts: It’s a matter of “when” not “if”
SAR volunteers can face tough calls (Critical Incidents). This might involve the following situations:
- A life threatening experience
- Serious injury to any of the team
- Line of duty death of any team member
- Discovery of a deceased subject and recovery of the body
- Discovery of a completed suicide
- A multi-casualty incident
- Disaster, natural or man-made
- Failure to locate subject, or subject dies
- Emotional connection with the subject
- Any incident involving children
- Prolonged callout or lengthy search effort
- Intense media coverage