Critical Incident Stress

Critical Incident Stress Survival and Recovery

Tragedies, deaths, serious injuries, threatening situations - these events are known as "Critical Incidents." Just because someone survived such an event does not mean that the crisis is over and all is well. Sometimes an event is so traumatic or overwhelming that family, friends and even first responders may experience significant stress reactions. This reaction has been labeled "Critical Incident Stress" and the cumulative effect has been labeled "Critical Incident Stress Disorder" or "Critical Incident Stress Syndrome".

It is usual for agencies such as Martin County Fire Rescue or Police to use a critical incident stress management system to help determine if a worker who’s gone through a particularly stressful incident is mentally and emotionally ready to return to work.

There’s no hard-and-fast rule that says a person who goes through a situation has to stay out a certain number of days. It’s done on a case-by-case basis according to what each individual needs.

How it can affect your life

An example: in a recent Martin County shark attack, Daniel Lund, the lifeguard who tried unsuccessfully to save kite boarder Stephen H. Schafer on a Wednesday, returned to work the following Sunday.

Despite David Lund's heroic efforts, doctors declared Stephen Schafer, 38, dead at Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart. In his attempt to save Shafer's life, Lund paddled into bloody, shark-infested waters, ignoring the risk to himself.

In this instance, Jon Belding, division chief for Martin County Fire Rescue, said "Lund will take some time off, but how much is up to him". He noted, though, that the sooner Lund gets back into the water the easier it will be to recover. Lund has been offered counseling.

Traumatic experiences shake the foundations of our beliefs about safety, and shatter our assumptions of trust. We create meaning out of the context in which events occur. Consequently, there is always a strong subjective component in people's responses to traumatic events. This can be seen most clearly in disasters, where a broad cross-section of the population is exposed to objectively the same traumatic experience. Some of the individual differences in susceptibility to Critical Incident Stress Syndrome following trauma probably stem from temperament, others from prior history and its effect on this subjectivity.

For instance, industrial accidents can be a traumatic personal experience for co-workers. Besides the potential emotional scarring of cleaning up after a co-worker, friend or family member, retrieval of body fluids by janitorial staffs can quickly mount into more than the untrained professional can safely handle. Critical Incident Stress Syndrome (C.I.S.S.) is a very real threat to the well being of persons that try to deal with these traumatic experiences.

Our Trauma Clean Up Services

AA Trauma Cleaning Service provides crime scene cleanup, disaster mitigation, facility maintenance services, and general construction services throughout South Florida and up the Treasure Coast. Locations include, but are not limited to, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, St.Lucie, Okeechobee, Indian River, Brevard and Volusia county. Some serviced cities include Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, Jupiter Island, Hobe Sound, Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach and more.

We provide on-call emergency services 24/7. AA Trauma Cleanup Service provides quality work, timely service, and reasonable pricing. We pride ourselves on the high standards we have established and maintained as a Treasure Coast area business. Our 24 hour response team will work quickly and efficiently with discretion and confidentiality. Unmarked vehicles are available upon request. We will gladly provide references.

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