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Proposed revision to Communications standard 2.2.6 Critical Incident Stress

At the November 2019 Covington, KY meeting of the Standards Review and Interpretation Committee (SRIC) the committee directed staff to post the following standard and requested changes to the clients for comments.  Please post your comments or send correspondence to CALEA by Friday, January 24th, 2020.

2.2.6 – Critical Incident Stress

A written directive establishes procedures for assisting personnel in dealing with the effects of stress associated with critical incidents, and includes at a minimum:

            a.  relief from duty following from traumatic critical incidents, if necessary;

            b.  referral services available;

            c.  stress recognition training; and

            d.  follow-up action, as needed. 

The purpose of this standard is to assure a consistent means of assisting personnel in dealing with critical situations and the stress that follows and to minimize the accumulative effects of Critical Incident Stress (CIS).  This removal may be a break from duty during the shift of or administrative leave.  During the period of administrative leave, the agency should consider provisions for post-incident debriefing or counseling for those employees involved, as needed.  In some critical incidents, the employee’s family may require assistance also.  Dispatch personnel now have the potential of being a first-hand witness to repeated trauma through new technology as well as vicarious trauma in the form of compassion fatigue.  Specific care should be given to call intake personnel with attention to the possibility of the prolonged impact on physical, cognitive and emotional responses.  The agency should consider maintaining crisis intervention protocols to address both short term and long-term mediation strategies.  (M M M)

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