Critical incident stress is a universal reality for first response personnel. During the course of a career, it is estimated that nearly 90% of police officers, firefighters, and other emergency response personnel will be affected by a critical incident. Reactions to these events manifest in a broad range of physical, emotional, and behavioural responses that can hamper an individual’s ability to function during or following an event. If left untreated, critical incident stress can continue to generate adverse effects on an individual’s well-being long after the event has taken place.
Critical Incident Stress Management is an introductory level course that instructs learners on how to recognize the effects of critical incident stress and provides techniques that can be applied to minimize the impact of an event. It explains the potential outcomes of critical incident stress, identifies potential administrative or personnel problems that may be created by critical incident stress reactions, and initiates a discussion of responses to critical incident stress.
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
- Define critical incident and explain the importance of critical incident stress management
- Define critical incident stress and be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of a stress reaction
- Recognize the phases and effects of critical incident stress
- Recognize the effects of critical incident stress while at the scene of a critical incident and apply techniques to minimize the impact
- Recognize the effects of critical incident stress following a critical incident and apply techniques to minimize the impact
- Explain how family and organization can help recognize the effects of critical incident stress and apply techniques to minimize the impact
This awareness-level course is designed for first response personnel including ambulance, fire, police, security, and hospital emergency department staff.
Content for this course was provided by the York Regional Police Critical Incident Stress Management Team. Special thanks goes to the Georgian Critical Incident Stress Management Team who assisted the York Region in the early stages of development.