San Luis Obispo County Fire Chiefs Association
Interagency Critical Incident Stress Management Team
Provides stress management services to any emergency response personnel,
paid or volunteer, to reduce the effects of critical incident stress.
Critical Incident Stress (CIS) is a state of intensified arousal accompanied by strong cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual reactions as a result of the exposure to the critical incident. CIS is a normal survival response; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a pathologic end result of unresolved CIS.

Critical incident symptoms

Grief is not a sign of weakness


1.    Pre-crisis Preparation. Includes stress management education, stress resistance, and crisis mitigation training for both individuals and organizations.

2.    Rest Information Transition Services (RITS): A brief intervention prior to release of employee(s) following a large-scale incident or disaster.

3.    Crisis Management Briefings (CMB): A large group meeting to provide information about the incident, control rumors, discuss potential symptoms of distress and the components of stress management, and identify available resources for affected individuals who may later elect to seek CISM support.

4.    Defusing: A shorter, informal version of the debriefing process, the defusing is conducted shortly after the incident, preferably during the same shift. Most incidents that are defused do not need to be debriefed.

5.    Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD): CISD is designed as a seven-phase, structured group discussion with the support of mental health care professional, trained peers and chaplains.

6.   Individual Crisis Intervention: One-on-one counseling or psychological support throughout the timeline of the critical incident.

7.   Family Crisis Intervention: Includes organizational consultation, as needed.

8.   Follow-up and Referral: Intervention components for follow-up assessment and treatment, if necessary. This can include use of mental health providers, and other specialized programs

9.   Civilian Assistance: Although assisting victims, survivors, and families is not the primary function of the CISM Team, it may be necessary to provide interim support services to these individuals so that the emergency service crews may perform their duties without being hampered.  CISM team will act as Liaison to gather local resources for civilians. (Red Cross, County Mental Health, etc.)

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