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Critical Incident Stress Management Interventions Help Heal First Responders

Officer-involved shootings, line-of-duty deaths and injuries, child victims, employee suicide, and mass-casualty incidents are all events that can trigger traumatic-stress disorders for first responders. If post-traumatic stress is not addressed, it can often lead to faulty decision making, increased disciplinary problems, tardiness, on-the-job accidents, citizen complaints, and officer turnover.

Agencies need to take proactive steps to help officers heal by implementing a critical incident stress management (CISM) program to mitigate long-term mental-health issues for first responders.