Critical incident stress debriefings are available to your department and can be scheduled following a traumatic event, ideally within one to three days.
Public Safety personnel are routinely exposed to events outside of normal human experience. Though trained to access and respond to critical incidents the impact of some of those experiences can be more psychologically challenging than others.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
“Critical Incident Stress Management is system of education, prevention and mitigation of the effects from exposure to highly stressful critical incidents. It is handled most effectively by specially trained individuals, such as crisis intervention specialists.
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is a facilitator-led group process conducted soon after a traumatic event with individuals considered to be under stress from trauma exposure. During the group process, participants are encouraged to describe their experience of the incident and its aftermath, followed by a presentation on common stress reactions and stress management. This early intervention process supports recovery by providing group support and linking employees to further counseling and treatment services if they become necessary.”
In Minnesota, there are seven regional critical incident stress management (CISM) teams available to assist with critical incident debriefings.
You can find their 24-hour contact information and a map via the Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board.
The service provided is confidential and limited to the emergency service personnel who were directly involved in the incident.