Critical Incident Stress Management Team


(814) 337 5380

What is the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)?

The Critical Incident Stress Management team is comprised of specially trained volunteer Peers and Mental Health representatives from a variety of backgrounds including Dispatch, EMS, Fire, and Police.  The team provides peer-led interventions to assist agencies and individuals with reducing common stress responses and to facilitate return to active service.

A critical incident is any situation faced by emergency services providers that causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions which have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at a scene or  with daily activities.


If you are unsure if you should activate our team, contact us.  We would be happy to discuss your concerns and assist with creating a plan of action to match the needs of your crew. We are a free confidential resource available 24/7/365 by request by calling (814) 337-5380

Our team can be activated to assist with a group intervention or a peer one on one intervention depending on the needs of the requesting agency.

  • Defusing:
    • Small group (3-20)
    • 45 minutes to an hour in length
    • Brief discussion about the incident followed by stress management education
    • Should be initiated < 48 hours post incident
    • Goals: Stabilization, Information, Increase Group Cohesion
  • Debriefing
    • Small group (3-25)
    • 60-90 minutes
    • Guided discussion about the incident including potential impact of stress followed by stress management education
    • Can be initiated >48 hours post incident
    • Goals: Increase Group Cohesion, Normalization Of Feelings, Reduce Acute Distress
  • Peer one on one
    • One emergency services practitioner and one teammate
    • Time is based on the interaction
    • Guided discussion about the incident including potential impact of stress followed by stress management education
    • Can be initiated at any time post incident
    • Goal: Stabilization, Reduce Acute Distress, Facilitate Resilience


Difficulty ConcentratingAnxiety
GuiltMood Swings
Preoccupation with the eventDepression
Suicidal ThoughtsPanic Attack
1000 Yard StareHeadaches
Sleep DisturbanceFatigue/Exhaustion
Self MedicationIndigestion

Our team is comprised of members from Emergency Medical Services, Firefighting, Police, Dispatch and Mental Health disciplines.

We hold bimonthly meetings at the EMMCO West office.  Interested applicants are invited to attend one of these meetings to meet team members and learn more about team member training, activations, and policies.

Our team operates under the rules and regulations set forth by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.  To be eligible to deploy to an activation, members must have:

  • Assisting Individuals in Crisis
  • Group Crisis Intervention

Here is a list of our upcoming meeting dates:

  • March 9th, 2020
  • May 11th, 2020
  • July 13th, 2020
  • September 14th, 2020
  • November 9th, 2020

All meetings start at 6 pm and are held at the EMMCO West office.   If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact Michelle at (814) 337 5380 or