SES Volunteer's Association of Western Australia Incorporated

One Association - Many Values

10/07/2023 – Important message for Local Managers

An important message for Local Managers

This message is for Local managers so they are aware that when their Unit is involved in a Potentially Traumatic Event (not all PTE’s are reported as Critical Incidents through the DFES notification procedures) that a Critical Incident Stress (CIS) report needs to be activated so your Wellness Team can tailor a personalised response to the Unit and the responding teams.

From the DFES Wellness Branch

“You and your teams are important and appreciated stakeholders of the Wellness Branch. Our role is to serve you well. As we periodically do, Wellness wishes to remind all Units to activate a Critical Incident Stress (CIS) report, when deemed warranted on account of incidents attended.

A CIS report is encouraged whenever anyone, in the process of responding to an incident, is exposed to a potentially traumatic event (PTE). It is important to bear in mind that not all PTE exposures are confined to ‘extreme’ type incidents and that something relatively innocuous in nature can ‘trigger’ any of us.

Apart from any assistance that may be provided by the Wellness Team in response to a CIS report being activated, a KEY benefit to Units/members is that a record of having attended the incident is recorded on each individual’s personal running sheet, providing a permanent and accurate history of the PTE’s they have been exposed to throughout their career. If in doubt – err on the side of safety and activate a CIS.

CIS reports are our trigger to initiate a Wellness response. Without the completion of a CIS report there is a high possibility that a Unit having attended a critical incident will fail to come to the attention of the Wellness Branch and consequently the CIS process may fail to initiate. This could involve many unintended consequences for the Units themselves, the individuals, their co-workers, family members, etc. The potential for this scenario to devolve into a potentially life-threatening situation is something we must remain cognisant of and work at all costs to avoid.”

Please direct any questions or queries to wellness@dfes.wa.gov.au

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