What to do on scene in a critical incident
Ensure the first responder involved in a critical incident is assigned a companion officer that is not involved in the critical incident for emotional support.
Ensure any “involved first responder” are also considered for emotional support as well
Transport the involved responders from the scene as soon as possible by the companion officer to restore safety.
Do not isolate the officer. Allow first responders to talk with a clergy, MHP, and/or peer support with whom they will have privileged communication.
Ensure those who are investigating and helping know who was involved in the incident. A list should be generated by the on-scene officer. No one should be forgotten.
For officers, replacement weapon should be given as soon as possible. Further, officers personal gun should be returned as soon as possible.
Involved first responders should be allowed to put on civilian clothes as soon as they choose.
Involved first responders should be allowed to contact family members as soon
as possible. First responders should be reminded to share their health status and needs.
Supervisors and other co-workers should choose their words carefully as they may be long remembered by the involved officer.
All first responders involved with the critical incident and family members should be given written information discussing normal stress reactions and coping strategies, and provided a mental health professional list.
All first responders involved and family members should attempt to avoid media and social media. First responders and family members should be reminded not to share negative media attention or rumors as this will not be conducive to recovery.