02-27-1999, 10:04 AM #1ccc530Firehouse.com Guest
Critical Incident Stress Debreifing
Many emergency services departments have some type of CISD in place now. However, are we willing to take advantage of it? Are we too macho to admit that it hurt to see that 4 year old child who didn't make it across the street, or the 18 year old boy who didn't survive the car wreck? I think that too often we are afraid to let ANYONE around us crack so we just remain silent and hold it in. Most of the time, just being abloe to express your true feelings is enough. Well, this is another place that WE should be able to air our feelings...and with a certain degree of privacy. Don't hold back, brothers and sisters. You're among family-the emergency services family!
02-27-1999, 10:24 AM #2Sunflower_FD_21Firehouse.com Guest
In the dual role of Chaplain and Rehab Officer I have the opportunity to deal with "stress" every tme I hand a firefighter a cup of Gatorade or a snack bar or just sit on the tailgate of the Rehab vehicle and "listen" with a caring heart and ear. Since I am on the scene in turnout gear, I am able to "identify" with the firefighters.
Firefighters indeed face a great deal of stress and need to "get rid" of it.
We have just established a Critical Incident Stress Management Team made up of trained "peers" ... the team will be called on as local fire command and/or county fire coordinator sees the need.
02-27-1999, 04:20 PM #3nsfirechapFirehouse.com Guest
A lot of times we(I) too often think of critical incident stress debriefings for "the big ones" All too often I have overlooked the day to day struggles that firefighters face-not any more. The day to day pressures are often overlooked but they are the ones most prevalent. I'm speaking from my own experience as an Air Force firefghter. The normal pressures put quite a strain on a previous marriage and on my own mental
health at times. One thing I've found that helps me do my job as Chaplain is I try to visit the stations as often as possible if nothing else just to listen to what ever the firefighters want to talk about. Despite what some folks think we are not supermen and women, just normal folk with normal human being emotions doing an extraordinary job. God bless you all that endeavour to help.
[This message has been edited by nsfirechap (edited February 27, 1999).]
02-27-1999, 11:46 PM #4Sunflower_FD_21Firehouse.com Guest
I agree that "listening" is important ... sometimes that's all a person needs ... they already know the answer ... they just need someone who will listen with a caring, concerned, interested ear.
I've also discovered that it's often the accumulation of small things that add up to lots of stress ... then comes a big stress and trouble is at hand.
I try to listen, listen, and then share an encouraging word ... I've also found that "appreciation" is often in short supply ... the community expects the firefighters to be there when needed, but often forget to say "thank you!"
03-01-1999, 10:07 PM #5sgt128Firehouse.com Guest
I would have to say that CISD has really helped the Fire Service in the past few years.
Virtually unheard of until Oklahoma City, I think that it has become an asset to most departments.
I personally saw it become useful after seeing an MVA where the driver lived, but his 15 and 16 year old friends were killed in the car..
The responding crews had an average age of around 20 that night. This made it hard for everyone as being in a tight community, the people in the car were known by many on the scene.
The CISD response was availible for those who needed it, but not forced, so it worked out nicely.
God Bless All!
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