Learning how to help first responders deal with psychological trauma of the job

The McKinney Fire Department (MFD) is taking steps to help our first responders deal with stress. Eleven MFD leaders volunteered to take part in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training at the Collin College Public Safety Training Center. First responders face traumatic events more frequently than the general public. Because of that, firefighters can become more vulnerable to acute stress, posttraumatic stress, depression and anxiety. CISM is considered a form of psychological first aid. It includes a focus on self-care and debriefing teams to help after calls for service. The Colony FD, Celina FD, Lucas FD, Frisco PD, Rowlett PD, DPS Chaplain and representatives from local hospitals and Amarillo Hospital are also taking part in the training. McKinney Human Resources Risk Management provided the funding.

“I’m here to learn how to help my crew,” said Captain Travis Irick. “We all face tough situations. What matters is how you are able to deal with them. We are all in this together.”

Fact: A 2018 NBC/International Association of Firefighters survey found 95 percent of Firefighters in the U.S. said they experience critical stress on the job, and most said it leaves them with unresolved emotional issues.

More safety information can be located at www.mckinneyfire.org or www.nfpa.org.