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As specialists in the world of critical incident counseling training and stress management for first responders, Peer Support Central is dedicated to educating communities about the special needs of these industries.

If you’re currently working in law enforcement or as a first responder, and considering a future role as a peer support specialist, it’s important to have a full understanding of what these terms mean and how they differ for those in different positions.

Keep reading for a closer look at what critical incidents are in law enforcement, and how training to provide critical incident stress management advice to your peers can help them be safer and healthier.

What Is A Critical Incident?

According to Officer.com, “[a] critical incident can be defined as any event that has a stressful impact sufficient enough to overwhelm the usually effective coping skills of an individual.” As you might imagine, police officers are exposed to traumatic events on a daily basis, from violent crimes to abuses committed against children. These are experiences that most people never have in life, and they have a strong emotional impact on officers and deputies, regardless of how many years they’ve been on the force.

“Research has shown that critical incident stress affects up to 87 percent of all emergency service workers at least once in their careers,” continues Officer.com.

How Does Critical Incident Counseling Help Law Enforcement Professionals?

Here at Peer Support Central, we’re dedicated to providing peer support specialists with the critical incident training they need to help their fellow law enforcement professionals work through this stress.

Critical incident debriefings and counseling sessions helps officers to decompress after these experiences. Though officers might typically feel embarrassed or intimidated by the idea of seeking professional help for critical incident management, our training allows for this service to be provide by peers, within the department. This breaks down the barriers to seeking help.

Goals of Critical Incident Counseling & Stress Management

  • Identify frequent and usual responses to critical stress
  • Learn how to handle his/her own reactions to critical incidents
  • Identify the symptoms of PTSD and other debilitating disorders
  • Building stress resilience

Are you interested in filling this role in your community? Contact Peer Support Central to learn more about our critical incident and stress management training for law enforcement professionals. Our peer support training programs have helped many people launch their careers in the field of critical incident counseling, providing a valuable service that can actually help to save the lives of law enforcement officers.