What is Critical Incident Stress?
Tragedies, deaths, serious injuries, known victims, and threatening situations are a few of the incidents that an emergency services worker can experience, sometimes on a frequent basis. It is well known that the stress created by emergency services work (critical incident stress) can have a significant impact on an individuals body, thoughts, feelings, perceptions and spirituality. Critical incident stress is the stress typically created by powerful events (critical incidents) that are outside the usual range of experience of emergency services personnel and overwhelms their ability to cope with the event.
If critical incident stress is allowed to affect emergency services workers adversely, they can become less effective in their jobs and personal lives. This can potentially lead to a reduction in professionalism, and possibly harm to themselves and their families.
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