When an event occurs, contact the CISM on call coordinator via phone or text, 202-505-2476 (CISM).
When you reach voicemail, leave the following information:
- Point of contact (usually the FacRep or their designee)
- Details of the incident or accident
- Persons involved, directly and indirectly
Time permitting, please also include:
- Pertinent information about controllers involved; circumstances which may make this event worse for them, i.e. divorce, family issues, other stresses
- Work schedules of employees directly involved; in case a debrief needs to be scheduled. If it’s determined a CISD (critical incident stress debrief) is necessary, it would typically occur 3-10 days after the incident.
- Was a supervisor involved? CISM is a peer program but supervisors can participate if ALL controllers involved approve. If even one controller objects, the supervisor may not participate.
- What is the attitude of management? Are they compassionate? Are they concerned about the employees?
Putting controllers back to work too soon after an event becomes a safety issue. The mind can still be distracted. Do not hesitate to remind management safety is a priority. I a controller feels it necessary, request administrative leave from the manager. It is within their purview to approve this.
Controllers who experience a critical incident should be advised to file a CA-1 form to document the event.
The window for filing a CA-1 is 30 days.
Critical incidents can have a significant psychological effect as real as a physical injury. Documentation is important.