Critical Incident Stress Management

Emergency responders face stressful, dangerous, and unpredictable situations every day. We are routinely exposed to human tragedies and to events requiring that life and death decisions be made instantly. Usually we are able to cope well with these situations and accept them as part of the work we do. However, some events impact emergency responders more strongly. These have the potential to produce physical, emotional, and behavioral reactions that impair our ability to function normally at work and at home because of the stress they create. These events are known as critical incidents. The reactions we experience are normal human responses to extreme stress, but they can make us feel anything but normal.

CISM Services

YOU CAN. Anyone involved in emergency services or public safety can call to request any of the services of the CISM team. Trainings can be held during regular training times or as half-day or full-day workshops at your agency. There is no charge for any of the Arrowhead CISM team’s services.

For education resources and trainings, call the Arrowhead EMS Assn office at 218-726-0070 or email For services related to a critical incident call 218-625-3581. This 24-hour number is answered by the St. Louis Co. Communications Ctr. They will put you in touch with the on-call CISM team member.

CISM Training Brochure

* Resilience and how to get it
• Identifying sources of critical stress
• Surviving chronic stress
• Physiological reactions to stress
• Burnout and compassion fatigue
• Emotional and behavioral changes
• Family plans for critical incidents
• How to develop a buddy system
• Death notification
• Talking to victims’ families on scene
• Mistakes and how to live with them
• Building a supportive team
* And much, much more

The mission of the Arrowhead CISM education team is to support responders through training that creates awareness of stress, teaches the skills to manage stress, increases resilience, and enhances physical and mental well-being in order to create healthier, happier lives for the responders and their families, departments, and communities. Instructors have experience in the same area of emergency response as participants.