International Association of Fire Fighters Local 18   /   Vancouver Fire Rescue Services 

What is a Critical Incident Stress Defussion:

A Defusing:

  • Defusings are performed after the incident and after the crew has returned to quarters.

  • Defusings usually last anywhere from 30-45 min.

  • Defusings offer information/support to allow initial ventilation of feelings, allow all members of the incident to explain their role in incident.

  •  help stabilize the crew so they can either demobilize, or return to normal duties. By initiating crews in this process.

  • it allows members to see the overall picture, gaps to be filled, and any missing pieces of the puzzle to be completed.

  • This important process allows trained facilitators to monitor/assess individuals and provide additional advanced services and care when needed.

How does a debriefing help?

Fire fighting personal can benefit from a debriefing because it: 

  • provides a supportive and non judgmental environment.

  • helps participants identify the signs and symptoms of common reactions.

  • reduces the feeling of isolation and inadequacy.

  • contributes to the prevention of career burn-out.

  • provides reassurance and support for others.

  • provides coping skills for the current CIS and for future events that will occur.

A Debriefing:

  • is a group session lead by a CISM Team of specially trained individual​.

  • Is not a critique or performance evaluation.

  • Helps participants to focus on the event and share their thoughts about what

  • Is strictly confidential, no notes or names are recorded or released.

  • is usually conducted within 60 - 90 minutes.

What is a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: