CRITICAL INCIDENTS

 

Critical incidents are traumatic events that cause powerful emotional reactions in people who are exposed to those events. The most stressful of these are line of duty deaths, co-worker suicide, multiple event incidents, delayed intervention and multi-casualty incidents. Every profession can list their own worst case scenarios that can be categorized as critical incidents. Emergency services organizations, for example, usually list the Terrible Ten. They are:

 

  1. Line of duty deaths
  2. Suicide of a colleague
  3. Serious work related injury
  4. Multi-casualty / disaster / terrorism incidents
  5. Events with a high degree of threat to the personnel
  6. Significant events involving children
  7. Events in which the victim is known to the personnel
  8. Events with excessive media interest
  9. Events that are prolonged and end with a negative outcome
  10. Any significantly powerful, overwhelming distressing event

 

INTERVENTIONS

 

Defusing

A defusing is done the day of the incident before the person(s) has a chance to sleep. The defusing is designed to assure the person/people involved that their feelings are normal, tells them what symptoms to watch for over the short term and to offer them a lifeline in the form of a telephone number where they can reach someone who they can talk to. Defusings are limited only to individuals directly involved in the incident and are often done informally, sometimes at the scene. They are designed to assist individuals in coping in the short term and address immediate needs.

 

Debriefing

Debriefings are usually the second level of intervention for those directly affected by the incident and often the first for those not directly involved.

A debriefing is normally done within 72 hours of the incident and gives the individual or group the opportunity to talk about their experience, how it has affected them, brainstorm coping mechanisms, identify individuals at risk, and inform the individual or group about services available to them in their community.  The final step is to follow up with them the day after the debriefing to ensure that they are safe and coping well or to refer the individual for professional counseling.

 

 

 

To inquire further about crisis response for your business or organization call 812-232-4349