pdf LFEMS CISM Guidelines and Protocols 2017 (615 KB)

pdf CISM Team Incident Report (150 KB)

pdf Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team application (126 KB)

pdf LFEMS CISM Frequently Asked Questions (129 KB)

Sixteen state recognized Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Teams provide critical support to Virginia’s EMS community.

The teams work with individuals or groups of emergency medical services and fire and police personnel who may suffer from stress after being involved in a critical incident. Team members provide pre-incident education and post-incident defusing, demobilization and debriefing.

Examples of critical incidents are:

  • Suicides
  • Injury or death of an emergency worker
  • Prolonged events
  • Injury or death of children
  • Mass casualty incidents
  • Threats to emergency worker’s safety
  • Natural disasters

The constant intake of stress or encountering a highly stressful event can cause the emergency service professional to suffer stress reaction symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • FatigueStress
  • Nausea
  • GI upsets
  • Memory loss
  • Concentration problems
  • Problem solving difficulties
  • Anxiety
  • Fears
  • Depression
  • Identification with the victims
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Fear of repetition of the stressful event
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Changes in eating and work habits
  • Unusual actions or behaviors

A debriefing should be requested if stress symptoms continue beyond the first 48-72 hours of the incident. Overwhelming stress symptoms usually occur in the first 24-48 hours following a critical incident. If you or your agency is in need of CISM Team assistance, please contact the Lord Fairfax EMS Council's team by calling Frederick County Dispatch at (540) 665-5645. The Volunteer Coordinator on call will then be contacted. 

CISM brochures are also available at our office.

Click here to go to the VA Office of EMS CISM page.