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Division Of Wellness Safety & Training

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Behavioral Health Component of the Wellness-Fitness Initiative

A joint labor-management project of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and IAFF Local 1664

CISM/Behavioral Home Page

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- CISM Management Team -

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- When To Activate -

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Mandatory Activation
The Emergency Communications Center (ECC) must contact the on-duty CISM facilitator when MCFRS personnel are involved in the following:

  1. Serious injury or death of a MCFRS member at, or enroute to, an incident scene
  2. Mass casualty incidents
  3. Suicide of a MCFRS member
  4. Serious injury or death of a civilian resulting from MCFRS operations
  5. Death of and/or violence to a child;
  6. Loss of life following extraordinary and prolonged expenditures of physical and emotional energy during rescue efforts;
  7. An unusual incident that could trigger a profound emotional reaction

In the above-cited circumstances, the Emergency Communication Center (ECC) will dial (240) 777-2277 and leave a voice mail description of the event and appropriate contact information.

Optional Activation by the Incident Commander

Team activation will be considered by the OIC for the following incidents:

  1. Incidents that attract extremely unusual or extensive media coverage
  2. Incidents in which circumstances are unusually bizarre (i.e.,  incidents that are extremely large or take an unusually long time to resolve

Opitional Activation by OthersAny other member of the fire/rescue service, or the family member/significant other of a firefighter/rescuer, may call for guidance if a firefighter/rescuer is in distress.

Other Services Provided by the CISM Team
CISM team members are also available to:

  1. Provide on-site consultation
  2. Advise the incident commander of factors related to stress
  3. Note and assist personnel with acute stress reactions
  4. Provide support to victims, fire and rescue service personnel and the family members of affected personnel.

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- How To Activate -

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  1. Call (240) 777-2277
  2. Leave a voice mail message.
  3. Be sure to include a telephone number where you can be reached.
  4. The on-duty CIS facilitator will be paged automatically, and should return your call within fifteen minutes.

If you have not been contacted within fifteen minutes, or if you are unable to wait, please contact the Emergency Communications Supervisor at 240-777-0741 and ask to have the facilitator located.

Concerned About Confidentiality?

Q. I'm a little hesitant to call; I don't want other people to know that I'm having trouble dealing with this. I need reassurance to know that this call will be kept confidential.

A. When you call the CIS contact number, you are activating a voice mail system. This system will automatically notify the on-duty facilitator that a message has been left; the CIS faciliator will then retrieve the voice mail message. No one else will have access to the voice mail system. All conversations with the CIS staff regarding personal issues are confidential.

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- Consult a CISM Peer for a Non- Crisis Situation -

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Perhaps you are struggling with depression, or you are seeking help for signs & symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in yourself or a friend. The CISM peers are not trained in counseling techniques, and do not provide therapy. However, the peers are able to provide a listening ear, and to help you learn about some counseling options that are available.

To speak informally with a CISM peer, send an email to: fire.cism@montgomerycountymd.gov (Please include a contact number and return e-mail address). Someone will respond to your email within one week. If you initially email the CISM Team, and then feel that the issue has reached the crisis stage, please do not wait for a reply. Instead, call (240) 777-2277 to have the on-duty CISM facilitator call you within fifteen minutes. This person will help you determine the best course of action.

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- How To Join The Team -

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Do you have a strong desire to help your fellow firefighter/rescuers? Are you able to make a commitment to be on call occasionally to coordinate the CISM Team response to potential critical incident stress incidents? If so, send an email to: fire.cism@montgomerycountymd.gov  (Please include a contact number and return e-mail address). Someone will respond to your email within one week.

 

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