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J Bus Contin Emer Plan. 2012 Spring;5(4):298-315.

Emergency and crisis management: critical incident stress management for first responders and business organisations.

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Lincoln County Emergency Management Office, 715 Jeffers St, North Platte, NE 69101, USA.


A literature review was performed on critical incident stress after September 11th, 2001 (9/11), and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which focused on the need to implement a holistic critical incident stress management programme for first responders and business organisations. Critical incident stress management is required to handle acute stress and other distress in the face of natural or man-made disasters, including terrorist attacks. A holistic approach to community resilience through a well-planned and implemented critical incident stress management programme has been shown in the literature to promote self-help and self-efficacy of individuals and organisations. The interventions and programme elements defined clearly show how a number of different intervention and prevention strategies will promote business and community resilience and also self-efficacy in a culturally-diverse community and organisation. Implementing a critical incident stress management programme within a responding business organisation is critical because of the fact that first responders are the most susceptible every day to exposure to critical incidents that will affect their mental health; and business employees will suffer some of the same maladies as first responders in the event of a disaster or crisis. Utilising the framework provided, a holistic critical incident stress management programme can be implemented to help reduce the effects of burnout, absenteeism, acute stress, post-traumatic stress, substance use and traumatic stress, and to work to promote community resilience and toughen individuals against the effects of stress. Taking care of the needs of the employees of a business organisation, and of those of first responders, is clearly required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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