Father Tim West and Chief Dean Ortlieb (both with Urbana Fire/EMS) recently noticed an opportunity for county-wide collaboration in support of our community of First Responders. It is the nature of the job of First Responders to be exposed to traumatic events. When something tragic happens, the response in support of those involved must be quick, peer driven, and be assisted by faith based partners and mental health professionals.
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is that response model and is used internationally. This fall, Father Tim wrote a grant to the MHDAS Board for the cost of bringing in a nationally known and highly respected trainer on CISM, Bill Wall. The training was supposed to happen in 2020, but the community readiness and outpouring of interest in being partners in this effort drove the date up to December 3 – 4, 2019. According to Dave Torsell of Champaign County EMA, this is the first training Champaign County has had on CISM in roughly 25 years. It is inspiring to see the level of commitment and interest in partnering in this way across the entire county. Here were the agencies represented:
As a result of this training, there are now 35 people in our community with the knowledge and skills to respond quickly to traumatic events to offer quick support and help to improve the resilience of our brave men and women who serve our communities so professionally and faithfully. If you have an interest in receiving this excellent training and being a CISM supporter, please reach out to the MHDAS Board.