One of the challenges of crisis intervention is intervening only where and when needed, using the most appropriate intervention for the situation. Proper psychological intervention recognizes the appropriate need, not strictly the occurrence of an event. - Dr. Dan Clark

Requesting Crisis Intervention (CISM)

Early psychological intervention is based on recognizing the need, not strictly the occurrence of an incident. What is appropriate will depend on the nature, severity, and duration of the event; the number of those involved, resilience, coping skills, and cohesiveness of those involved; and the severity of their physical and emotional symptoms. It is crucial to determine the level of distress individuals and their organizations are experiencing. Read More

Fire Related CISM Requests

Critical Incident Peer Support Groups are mobilized through the normal dispatch channels. Therefore, it is essential to follow agency-specific policy regarding requests for CISM. Upon approval, requests for fire-related CISM services such as pre-suppression, suppression, and fire management activities are typically placed through normal dispatch channels to the appropriate Geographic Area Coordination Center. Read More

Non-Fire Related CISM Requests

Bureau of Land Management Policy and Guidance

Bureau of Indian Affairs Policy and Guidance


Timing and Why It Is Important

One risk of crisis intervention is "premature intervention," which may interfere with some victims' natural recovery mechanisms. Crisis intervention processes generally start no sooner than 48-72 hours after an incident (Everly, 2018). The latest research indicates that crisis intervention is most effective when conducted from 72 hours to 10 days after an incident. It is crucial to allow time for affected individuals to disengage operationally and re-connect with family or friends. Once this occurs, individuals are typically emotionally ready to benefit from peer support.

Efforts to provide crisis services must be well-timed, well-measured, and delivered by trained and certified personnel. Crisis intervention services must complement and augment natural recovery and restorative mechanisms and not interfere with the process (Mitchell, 2000). Early psychological intervention is based on the recognition of need, not strictly the occurrence of an event. What is appropriate will depend on the nature, severity, and duration of the event; the number, skills, and cohesiveness of those involved; and the severity of their physical and emotional symptoms.

Folsom Lake Veterans fire crew covered with retardant

The First 72 Hours After a Critical Incident

Current research has demonstrated that good management care is vital in preventing, supporting, and improving traumatic stress symptoms. In addition, feeling cared about in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event is hugely important in the healing and recovery process.

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Federal Wildland Fire Qualifications Supplement NWCG 310-1

On January 1, 2021, the new Federal Wildland Fire Qualifications Supplement for Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) personnel was updated. The Supplement requires training for certification as CISM (Peer Support Group Member) and CISL (Peer Support Group Leader. Read More

As a result, THSP (Technical Specialist) is no longer utilized to order CISM personnel. Instead, use CISM (Peer Supporter) and CISL (Peer Support Group Leader) when placing a request. See Supplement

Additional Information

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

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National Alliance on Mental Illness

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American Telepsychology Association

suicide » Read More

» Center for Disease Control

Other Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

suicide

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

» Read More

Treatment Referral Service

samsha

Free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service.

» Read More

Veterans Crisis Line

veterans

800-273-8255

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Bureau of Indian Affairs
Branch of Wildland Fire Management

3833 South Development Avenue t malesuada Boise, ID 83705

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