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CISM

 

What is CISM?

CISM is designed to help people deal with their trauma one incident at a time, by allowing them to talk about the incident when it happens without judgment or criticism. The program is peer-driven and the people giving the treatment may come from all walks of life, but the Tioga County team is comprised of emergency responders (Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Fire/Rescue, and Law Enforcement) or individuals who work in the mental health field.

All interventions are strictly confidential, the only caveat to this is if the person doing the intervention determines that the person being helped is a danger to themself or to others. The emphasis is always on keeping people safe and returning them quickly to more normal levels of functioning.

 

How can I join?

If you are an emergency responder or a mental health professional who is interested in being a part of this wonderful effort, please contact the Tioga County Department of Emergency Services at 570-724-9110 or emergencyservices@tiogacountypa.us

 

Leadership

President - Harry Colegrove (Liberty Fire Dept.)

Secretary - Latricia VanGorden (Haven)

Treasurer - Julie Erway (Tioga County DES)

Training Officer - Latricia VanGorden (Haven) & James Weiskopff (Volunteer)

 

Activation

The CISM team can be activated by any chief or executive officer to the 911 Communications Center (570-724-4666) or Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) (570-723-8106)

 

Contact Information

If you have an emergency, dial 911.

If you have other questions or are interested in joining the team, please contact us by calling (570) 724-9110 or emailing emergencyservices@tiogacountypa.us

 

Common Signs of a Stress Reaction

  • Physical - Chills, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, fainting, dizziness, chest pain, headaches, rapid heart rate, grinding teeth, visual difficulties, profuse sweating, etc.
  • Cognitive - Confusion, nightmares, hyper vigilance, blaming, difficulty problem solving, poor attention and decision making, poor memory, disorientation, heightened or lowered alertness, etc.
  • Emotional - Fear, guilt, grief, panic, denial, anxiety, agitation, irritability, depression, anger, emotional shock, emotional outbursts, feeling overwhelmed, loss of control, inappropriate emotional responses, etc.
  • Behavioral - Withdrawal, antisocial acts, inability to rest, pacing, change in social activity, loss or increase in appetite, increased alcohol consumption, change in usual communications, etc.
  • Spiritual - Anger at God, questioning beliefs, loss of meaning and purpose, sense of isolation, form anger at Clergy, withdrawal from place of worship, etc.

 

When you experience a traumatic incident or event

What is considered a critical incident?

  • Any incident that causes emergency service personnel to experience strong or unusual emotional reactions which may interfere with their ability to function normally rather it be as an emergency responder or at home.

 

Healthy ways for family and friends to respond to your stress reaction

  • Listen carefully to what they have to say
  • Spend time with them instead of allowing them to stay isolated
  • Offer your assistance and listening ear, even if they have not asked for help
  • Reassure them that they are safe and are not alone
  • Help them with everyday tasks
  • Give them some private time
  • Don't take feelings such as anger, personally
  • Involve them in activities as well as decisions
  • Don't say things such as "luckily it wasn't worse" or "at least it wasn't you"
    • Traumatized people are not consoled by those statements. Instead, tell them that you are sorry such an event has occurred and you want to understand and assist them

 

Good ways to respond to stress

  • Take action within the first 24-48 hours!
  • Get appropriate exercise alternated with relaxation to help alleviate some physical reactions
  • Keep busy by structuring time
  • Understand that you are normal and are experiencing normal reactions. You are not weak!
  • Reach out and talk with others-communications can be a great therapeutic technique
  • Maintain as normal schedule as possible
  • Socialize or spend time with others
  • Share feelings and reach out to others that also went through the same event
  • Do things that are enjoyable to you
  • Don't make any big life changes or decisions
  • Get plenty of rest and eat balanced meals

 

2017 CISM Meeting Schedule

  • Q1 - January 11th
  • Q2 - April 12th
  • Q3 - August 9th
  • Q4 - November 8th

All meetings at 5:30pm at the Cohick Building

 

Links

ICISF - International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

KCIT - Keystone Crisis Intervention Team

Lycoming County CISM