Thursday, August 25, 2011

When the Worst Happens...

As I get older, I am becoming increasingly aware of my limitations as I strive to serve others in need. You would think that age and experience would bring a greater degree of confidence and ability to get the job done. At one level, that is true. But I also believe that substantial field experience causes you to realize how much you depend on competent team workers.



I have been involved in doing critical incident debriefings with police officers, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and other first responders for many years now. Structured debriefings that are done according to the standard rules of training in the field of Critical Incident Stress Management are the equivalent of emotional first aid. Emergency responders that have worked an especially difficult call benefit in immeasurable ways through the group or individual debriefing process.


I am thrilled to be a part of one of three Critical Incident Response Teams that have been formed here in Hood County. Our Fire Marshal is responsible for putting together these three teams. Kudos to Brian Fine! All team members have gone through the basic CISM training course, and we are up and running!


My team consists of a Hood County Sheriff’s Deputy, a paramedic from Texas EMS, a paramedic from Pecan Plantation EMS, a Pecan Plantation Volunteer Firefighter, and an employee from The Hood County Fire Marshal’s Office. They are all very competent professionals in their respective fields. Other teams also include  two school counselors from Granbury Independent School District. Their professional expertise in counseling will be priceless.

Needles to say this is a dream come true for me. I have longed for the day when we would have a multi-discipline CISM Team in place to serve both the city and the county. The school system will  be positively impacted too in the case of a major incident involving a student or a staff member.  Every fire department and law enforcement agency along with the emergency medical services personnel  our county will reap untold benefits.


A few years ago I was ready to blaze in and be the crisis guy. Just call me. I will handle it. I have learned a lot since then. I am learning everyday to abandon “The Messiah Complex” as it is sometimes called. I have learned the value of inter-agency collaboration along with the importance of working with people from different disciplines. I have a feeling our team will become a close knit group of professionals that really learn to depend on each other as we serve the citizens of Hood County along with our own colleagues.  When the worst happens, we will be there.

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