Over the past four years, a team of volunteers has worked together to provide multi-dimensional stress management and crisis intervention services for all rural volunteer fire departments in Saskatchewan. As the responses grew in number and the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) program evolved, the need for critical incident stress management and crisis intervention support expanded far beyond expectations.
Team members have responded to provide CISM support after a wide range of traumatic incidents. In the last few years, the citizens of our province have experienced some significantly large scale disaster events with tragic losses of life. Our involvement in the responses illustrated how effective trained CISM teams could be in supporting the emergency responders who were part of those traumatic scenes. These interventions and overall responses provided a greater picture of the organizations that work parallel to one another in these events, as well as the gaps in service that CISM teams can fill.
To better serve all rural volunteer fire departments and fill the need to support other branches of emergency responders who are also affected by traumatic experiences in the workplace, a new organization was needed.
The Saskatchewan Critical Incident Stress Management Network Inc. or SASK CISM Network was officially incorporated as a non-profit on January 8th, 2019.
Their mission is to provide leadership, education, training, consultation, and support services in comprehensive crisis intervention and disaster behavioural health services to the emergency response professions, other organizations, educational institutions, and communities province-wide.
The Sask CISM Network will adhere to the standard of care for best practices in critical incident stress management as recommended by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) as well as the Alberta Critical Incident Advisory Council (ACIAC).
The Sask CISM network wishes to thank all stakeholders, volunteers, and public officials who have helped create this new organization. Stay tuned for more exciting information about the network and the programs and services that will be offered.