In the winter of 1992, the need for a debriefing team was identified by the Central Massachusetts Emergency Medical Systems Corporation, and a series of meetings were initiated to survey the interests of local public safety personnel to join and support this endeavor.
In October of 1993, with a handful of trained and committed volunteers who has spent almost one year preparing for activation, the Critical Incident Stress Management Team of Central Massachusetts went on line. The focus of the team was and continues to be a stress management resource for public safety personnel from the eighty-two cities and towns within the Department of Public Health, Region II EMS area, and Department of Fire Services, District Seven.
At all times, the team utilizes the guidelines of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation for its general operations. The team specifically uses the Mitchell Model with its seven-stage process for delivering Critical Incident Stress Management.
During the team’s first year. it was primarily involved in delivering debriefings, recruiting new members and establishing a positive reputation in the public safety departments throughout the region. In its second year, the team began integrating itself into and networking with the statewide CISM resources, developing its own training capabilities, and delivering community presentations for fundraising purposes.
Since that time, the team has continued to grow and become stronger. The team has specifically identified police, fire, EMS, rescue diving, search and rescue teams, dispatchers and ski patrols for our primary service area. As our communities move past the attacks of September 11, 2001, the team is receptive to all reasonable requests for CISM assistance.
The team proudly stands ready to respond to every request for service, and aspires to always be able to make this statement.