Critical Incident Stress Management

The definition of critical incident is any situation faced by an individual which causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions and which has the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at the time of the incident or at a later stage. Critical incident stress is the reaction of normal people experiencing normal responses to an abnormal event.

The impact of the incident could depend on many factors, such as
  • The severity and nature of the event
  • The person's role in the incident
  • Identification with the victim
  • The person's ability to cope
  • The behavior and attitude of others
Examples of events which may trigger Critical Incident Stress may be
  • Serious injury or death
  • Severe burn victim
  • Major disaster / mass casualties
  • Rescue failure
  • Severe injury or death of a child
  • An incident of long duration
  • Personal relationship to the victim
West Kelowna Fire Rescue offers a CIS program which provides support to staff involved in a critical incident and ensures that everyone's physical and mental health is maintained.