Any situation beyond the realm of a persons usual experience that overwhelms his or her sense of vulnerability and or lack of control over the situation. Any Situation faced by emergency service personnel that causes them to experience unusually strong emotional reactions which have the potential to interfere with their ability to function either at the scene or later. A life experience or series of experiences that so seriously upsets the balance of the individual that it creates changes in the person's emotional, cognitive or behavioral functioning.
Critical Incidents: * Are sudden and unexpected * Disrupt our sense of control * Disrupt beliefs, values, and basic assumptions about the world in which we live, the people in it, and the work that we do * Involve the perception of a life damaging threat * May involve emotional or physical loss
The police subculture holds many myths that can lessen the officer's ability to deal with the situation. "Real men can handle it!"; "If you can't deal, find a new line of work!"; "Keep it to yourself," Don't be a baby!" The reality is that police officers, as all human beings, will experience deep emotional reactions to a critical incident. Attempts to deny this fact often cause officers to suffer in silence, not seek help, and in some instances, truly disrupt their lives and the lives of their families.
Police officers and rescue workers in general, share personality