CISM, Stress and Support for SAR Members

 In General

There are many highs in search and rescue and there can be many lows too.

Each SAR member will experience a tough call out (or several) at some point in their career. Whether it’s the suspension of a search, an incident where the Subject is a child, or something completely unrelated, it will register uniquely with each of us and can affect us all in different ways. To help members deal with these situations, there is a dedicated group of SAR volunteers in BC who make up a provincial CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) team. Earlier this month we were fortunate enough to have two members of CISM present to both CSAR members and our significant others.

Not only did Ian and Greg provide an overview of the role of CISM and what these dedicated volunteers do within our SAR community, they also opened our eyes to what stress is, what it does, and how viewing it positively (instead of negatively) can make a huge difference in our physical and mental health. Learning how to bounce back from a traumatic incident helps create a resilience within us so that we are better equipped to handle the next challenge. CISM members are trained to turn potential breakdowns into breakthroughs, and all we need to do is call them.*

We would like to offer a huge thank you to Ian and Greg for their time and for enlightening our group. To say they gave a fantastic presentation would be an understatement, and we strongly recommend that BC SAR teams contact CISM coordinators about the possibility of having a presentation made to their team as well. They can be reached at cism@bcsara.com.

*It should be noted that spouses or family members can reach out to the CISM team too if they feel that the SAR member in their life is struggling.

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