Critical Incident Stress Management

CISM is a Form of Psychological First Aid

A critical incident is any event that can cause such a stressful impact so as to overwhelm one`s usual coping mechanisms. After a critical incident some people have reactions that are out of the ordinary for them. This unsettling state is called critical incident stress. These stress responses can interfere with the way people think, feel or behave. Sometimes it affects physical health and even one’s attitude towards life. It is important to remember these reactions, although uncomfortable, are normal responses to an abnormal event.

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is an educational approach intended to prevent or to mitigate the distress that can be caused by traumatic events.  It is not curative nor will it prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  First Responders who take part in CISM  led interventions report an easier recovery and return to duty more quickly than individuals who have not participated in any supportive services.  Groups also report a greater sense of cohesiveness and an increase in morale.

The Fire Service Assocition of Nova Scotia provides a CISM Team.  Learn more here.

CISM Team Services

A CISM Team is made up of volunteers from the fire service and the helping community.  You can ask for help by calling: (800)559-3473.
  • Group debriefings following a critical incident;
  • Individual or group follow-up support; and

  • Pre-incident education sessions.
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