Critical Incident Response, Consultation, and Training

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Critical Incidents

Fire & EMS
Members of our first response community can encounter rather dramatic and graphic events in their work environment. The nightly news often provides viewers dramatic scenes of horrific incidents. What goes largely unreported is the impact that the following incidents can have on even the more resilient of first responders:
Below are Critical Incidents in the Fire and EMS service:

  • LODD
  • Serious injury to a co-worker
  • Unexpected death of a co-worker
  • Unexpected death of a patient
  • Particularly gruesome incident
  • Dismemberment and/or large loss of blood
  • Severely burned patient
  • Incidents involving death or serious injury/illness of a young child
  • Suicide of a co-worker or a patient
  • Murder/suicide
  • Assaults on self or others
  • Explicit threats of assault on first responders
  • Serious injury to a patient as a result of department operations
  • Patient dies as a result of clinical error
  • Catastrophic medical equipment failure
  • Working under threatening conditions including biological, radiological, chemical, fire, and explosive
  • Prolonged exposure to death and dying
  • Incidents with particularly strong sensory stimuli (e.g. smell of blood, decomp)
  • Knowing the victim
  • Identifying with the victim
  • Victim is similar in age/appearance to you or a loved one
  • Multiple casualty incidents
  • Other traumatic incidents within a short period of time
  • Prolonged resuscitation with negative outcome
  • Dealing with hysterical and demanding family members
  • Any incident that has compromised or could comprise one or more person’s ability to function

Note: If you are not certain if you or your organization has been exposed to a critical incident, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Brown for a telephone consult. He will help you assess the incident to determine what response might be appropriate.