In the inferno: Critical incident stress management programs in the fire service - what works & how do we know?
The genesis of this study was an interest in the psychological support services provided to firefighters post-incident and disaster. Firefighters are considered to be at high risk of physical and psychological sequelae to their jobs because they routinely face risks and work in conditions that are beyond the norm of most occupations and trades. How do they recover from these traumatic events and carry on with their jobs and lives? What processes, skills, or knowledge do firefighters rely on to protect them when they face overwhelming events? How do they decompress when their fire tasks are completed? The purpose of this research study is to ascertain if, in the selected fire departments, does CISM work? If so, what works and how do we know? My hypothesis is: CISM works. As well, it is anticipated that participants will report stress symptoms are decreased or mitigated by talking to others about their reactions and coping strategies. The null hypothesis is that CISM does not work; hence, there would be no decrease in symptoms of stress.