Mining Publication: A Missing Component in Your Emergency Management Plans: The Critical Incident Stress Factor
In emergency management, the effects of stress on the performance of emergency personnel, typically have been ignored or regarded as too enigmatic to quantify. This paper discusses the concept of Critical Incident Stress in responders to emergencies. It presents the rationale for considering stress as a significant factor in the management of emergencies. It is proposed that Critical Incident Stress Debriefing in a disaster can improve the effectiveness of response teams on site, their turnaround time on site, and post-disaster time off the job. Critical Incident Stress intervention also can mitigate potential deleterious emotional effects associated with emergency work. This paper, prepared by a U.S. Bureau of Mines researcher, offers some ideas to the mining industry in general, to mine rescue team trainers, and to developers of program simulations on the specific issue of how people, time, materials and space may be factored into a plan for emergency management. The impact of stress on emergency workers is presented as a missing component in present emergency management models.