The purpose of this procedure is to establish within METROFIRE the use under defined conditions of the Boston Fire Department/METROFIRE Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team.
METROFIRE recognizes that certain incidents to which fire department members respond may have profound physical and psychological effects on such personnel. To reduce the impact of such major events. METROFIRE has established an arrangement with the Boston Fire Department Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team to assist METROFIRE community fire department personnel at the scene and/or after encounters of these types within the METROFIRE district. This team is trained to provide this service with assistance of qualified professionals.
CONDITION FOR STRESS TEAM ACTIVATION
Debriefing may be beneficial in/or following the types of incidents listed below:
Serious injury or death of a firefighter in the line of duty.
Serious injury or death of infants or children.
Any loss of life which follows extraordinary and/or prolonged expenditures of physical energy in the rescue attempt.
Incidents in which the circumstances are so unusual or sights and sounds so distressing as to produce a high level of immediate or delayed emotional reaction that surpass the normal coping mechanisms of fire personnel.
In special cases, departments may request consultation with the debriefing team following incidents that were not originally categorized as critical at the time they occurred.
The activation of the team will be initiated by the Chief of Department or his designee during an incident or may be requested during a period following the critical exposures. All requests will be made, by telephone, to the METROFIRE Control Center who will activate the team through established procedures.
Once activated for an incident, two team members will respond to the incident to observe and advise the incident commander if so requested. Arrangements will be made for member debriefing within 48 hours of the incident termination.
When requested after an incident, the team coordinator will call the requesting community to arrange for the time and place of the debriefing activity.
COST OF SERVICE
Members of the Boston Fire Department serve voluntarily as Debriefing Team members. There are no charges for their services. Qualified professionals supporting the team charge hourly consulting fees for training and debriefing consultations. METROFIRE is supporting the training costs of the team. Charges for professional consultations required as the result of incident debriefings will be negotiated between the professionals and the communities.