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Division of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma

 Critical Incident Stress Management Program

Debriefing, Defusing and Proactive Services
Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel - including law enforcement, firefighters, ambulance attendants and others - are subjected to stress-inducing events as part of their normal day-to-day activity. At times, an extraordinary event occurs that produces unusually high levels of stress. High stress levels can also be a result of an accumulation of continued events. These stressful situations may lead to unhealthy habits or possibly even leaving the EMS field. The North Dakota Department of Health (DoH) established a critical incident stress management (CISM) system in order to provide assistance in developing healthy stress-coping mechanisms and to assist in the retention of EMS personnel.

North Dakota's CISM system can be activated by calling State Radio at 701.328.9921 seven days a week, 24 hours a day. or by contacting the DEMST office (701.328.2388 or 866.382.3367) during regular business hours. Upon request, the State CISM Coordinator will contact a CISM regional coordinator who will assemble a local team of CISM responders available for assistance at a mutually agreed upon time and place. The number of CISM responders will be directly related to the number of EMS personnel participating in the CISM debriefing.

Requests for assistance must be made by an official of a North Dakota ambulance service, law enforcement agency, fire department or hospital.

Upon calling to request a CISM debriefing the State CISM Coordinator will need some basic information:

  1. Contact information
  2. Event
  3. Time / date of event
  4. Participants (EMS, law enforcement, fire, etc and number of each)
  5. Possible preferred date of debriefing

DEMST in cooperation with the Division of Emergency Services (DES) provides proactive training sessions to the North Dakota EMS community that teach healthy stress-coping practices and give an overview of the critical incident stress debriefing process, as well as trainings for new CISM team members as funding allows.

There is no charge for the CISM service.

For more information, contact DEMST

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Training

We need YOU to join the state team!

Dickinson - October 8 - 10, 2013

Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is a three day course being presented as a joint effort between the North Dakota Department of Health and the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.

As crises and disasters increase in the state, the need for effective crisis response capabilities becomes obvious. CISM is a comprehensive, integrative, multicomponent crisis intervention system. CISM is considered comprehensive because it consists of multiple crisis intervention components, which functionally span the entire temporal spectrum of a crisis. CISM interventions range from the pre-crisis phase through the acute crisis phase, and into the post-crisis phase.

Students who attend this training must agree to serve as a volunteer on the ND state CISM team for a period of at least 3 years. Team members will be expected to respond within their respective region when called upon. Team members will be placed on a rotating roster so as not to create an inconvenience or overburden the volunteer. Any travel expenses incurred while responding as a team member will be reimbursed upon submission of appropriate paperwork.

Attendance Requirements: Participants are required to attend all three days of the course.

8 hours of continuing education will be obtained after attendance.

Register on the DES website!



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