Critical Incident Stress Management

A Joint Venture of Johnson County Medical Action, Mental Health and Emergency Service Providers

About The Team

The Johnson County Critical Incident Stress Management Team (JCCISMT) has been organized since 1987 to help support all emergency service personnel in Johnson County, Kansas through the effects of extreme events.

Our main objective is to lessen the impact of an extreme event and accelerate the return of personnel to routine functioning. The team members are highly trained and dedicated emergency service peers and mental health professionals. They seek to understand the unique personalities of emergency personnel and the duties they perform.

Services Provided

The JCCISMT provides service specific to the needs of the requesting agency and the critical incident that has occurred.

CISM Activation Process

All requests for activation of the Johnson County CISM duty team for a CISM intervention will be directed to the on duty supervisor at the Johnson County Emergency Communication Center (ECC)

Call 913-826-1001 or 913-432-1717

The on duty supervisor will request the following information:

  • Agency name
  • Name and phone number of requesting party
  • Incident type
  • Incident date and time

The ECC supervisor will pass this information on to the CISM team who will make direct contact with the requesting party to make specific arrangements.

What Is A Critical Incident?

  • Line of duty death
  • Serious injury to a responder during an incident
  • Mass casualty incident
  • Death of a child
  • Incidents drawing media attention
  • Prolonged rescue efforts
  • Loss of life following prolonged rescue efforts
  • Incidents involving unusual sights and sounds
  • Incidents worked in highly charged emotional circumstances

Responder Families

The responder’s family and friends can be of great help following an extreme event. They can also be affected by the incident and experience stress reactions. Don’t shut them out. Accept their support and keep them informed.

Why Request a CISM Intervention?

Emergency service personnel have become increasingly aware of the toll that the unique stressors encountered in their occupations may take on the quality of their lives. The very nature of their jobs may expose these individuals routinely or periodically to stressful events which they may not be able to work through satisfactorily on their own.

Factors that cause stress to one individual may not be stressful to another. Responses to stress may be immediate and incident specific or they may be delayed for a period after the incident. Stress may be cumulative, building over a period of time and incidents. Factors that may influence an individual’s response to stress include the specific stressor, the personal qualities of the responder, the person’s past experiences coping with stress, and the resources available to resolve the stressor.

Critical Incident Stress is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.

Normal Reactions to Stress

Critical incidents can overwhelm anyone’s usual abilities to cope. They can cause both physical and emotional reactions. These are NORMAL responses that can appear hours or even weeks after an incident. They do not imply weakness and they are resolvable. Some common reactions are:

Physical Reactions

  • Fatigue, Sleep Disturbances
  • Nausea, Muscle Tremors
  • Dizziness, Profuse Sweating
  • Headaches, Digestive Problems

Cognitive Reactions

  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Difficulty with problem solving
  • Difficulty with making decisions
  • Difficulty in naming familiar things or performing familiar tasks
  • Memory Loss Flashbacks of the incident
  • Preoccupation with the incident

Emotional Reactions

  • Nervousness, Depression
  • Fear, Irritability
  • Guilt, Emotional Numbing
  • Identification with the victim

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation,

To locate teams in other areas of Kansas, call 785-841-2345