Have you ever experienced an event that caused a strong emotional or physical response afterwards? That disturbed your sleep, made you lose your appetite or change your regular activities? More than 150 members in the Canadian Ski Patrol are available across Canada to assist you with such reactions in case of a critical incident. Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) can assist patrollers and others who have been involved in critical incidents.

What is CISM?
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) is meant to assist peers by acknowledging the event and their reactions to it, helping them understand that what they are thinking or feeling is a normal reaction after an abnormal event, that what they are going through now will slowly get better, there are things they can do help work through it, and that there are resources available if needed to assist them.

CISM is a method of helping first responders and others who have been involved in critical incidents that leave them emotionally and/or physically affected by those incidents. It is a process that enables peers to help their peers understand reactions that might occur after an event. This process also helps people prepare to continue to perform their services or in some cases return to a normal lifestyle.

Why are CISM training and resources needed for CSP?
Ski patrollers can face challenging situations that may cause disturbance hopefully only on a short-term basis. Trained ski-patroller peers can assist you to identify the normal signs and reactions to a critical incident, the effects it may generate, the tricks that can help you overcome these reactions and also the resources to prevent long-term reactions after this incident. Since they know what patrol life is all about, they are the best-trained ears that are available to listen to you and provide you with some guidance to help you overcome the situation and get back to your adapted life.

Who can benefit from CISM?
Any person who handles critical situations, such as

  • Ski patrollers
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Paramedics
  • Canadian Forces members
  • Other first responders
  • General population dealing with a critical incident, mass casualties

Where do I go for help?
Your Patrol Leader: The Patrol Leader can contact the Division President or directly the Division CISM Team Coordinator who will launch a call to the Division CISM team to respond to your request in a timely fashion.

Depending on the type of emergencies:

  • 911 for any physical emergencies
  • 811 for any psychological assistance
  • Suicide prevention line
  • Anti-poison Center

How do I get trained in CISM with CSP?
There are two CISM courses available with CSP for patrollers: Group Crisis Intervention & Assisting Individuals in Crisis.

The Group Crisis Intervention outline the most appropriate intervention according to the type of group you are facing (either homogenous or heterogeneous groups) and also the timeline after the critical event. It can be pursued by an individual follow-up intervention or may start with a one-on-one discussion, again, depending on the situation. These two courses best equip peer patrollers to identify the most appropriate tools, strategies, and resources to deal with each unique situation.

Both of these courses are developed and overseen by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (icisf.org). The CSP has two approved instructors who are able to teach both of the courses above in both English and French, as well as other courses. Please contact Brian or Helene about upcoming training dates.

For further information please contact your Division CISM Coordinator:

Ontario:   Brian Bennett, brian.bennett@skipatrol.ca, 416.894.6015

Québec:    Hélène Fortier, helene.fortier@skipatrol.ca, 514.567.4831

Alberta:    Sandra Williams, sandra.williams@skipatrol.ca, 403.875.6040