CISM stands for ‘critical incident stress management’. Civil Defence volunteers may be exposed to difficult scenes such as treating badly injured people. Even for experienced emergency personnel, exposure to such abnormal scenes can give rise to ‘traumatic stress’. Civil Defence has a critical incident stress management system in place to help our volunteers cope with any difficulties arising from their involvement in Civil Defence.
There are four elements to our system.
- All volunteers are required to attend a Critical Incident Awareness presentation.
- Civil Defence officers and some volunteers have received 4 days training on CISM. These individuals act as peer-to-peer supports for our volunteers.
- After dealing with a distressing incident the Civil Defence Officer or senior volunteer will gather the volunteers away from the scene to allow volunteers express their feelings about the incident. If the incident is very serious professional counsellors will be brought to meet the volunteers.
- All Civil Defence volunteers can avail of a free, professional counselling service to help deal with any issues relating to their Civil Defence activities. Inspire (formerly known as Carecall) is available 24/7, 365 days a year on 1800 409 673.