A critical incident is any event that is outside the typical range of experience for a person; and has sufficient impact (or is likely to have sufficient impact) that it overwhelms the person's usual effective coping abilities.
Typical critical incidents would include, but not be limited to:
- Line of duty deaths
- Incidents involving the use of deadly force or other life-threatening decisions
- Serious line-of-duty injuries to self or co-worker(s)
- Protracted incidents involving strong emotions over long periods of time (e.g. natural disasters, hostage situations, etc.).
- Incidents where there is a strong connection with the victim(s)
- Serious injury or death of a civilian, especially involving children
- Involvement in a number of moderately stressful incidents resulting in a cumulative effect.
The Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team is comprised of law enforcement officers and trained mental health professionals who provide support and intervention services to public safety officers and their families to lessen the impact of major events. As a reactive service, the team will provide support to public safety personnel at the scene or after the encounter with the critical incident. The debriefing process will continue in ongoing support with additional personnel who have experienced similar situations being brought to the team, as necessary.