Critical Incident Stress management briefing set for April 29

ARLINGTON — The city of Arlington is aiming to alleviate some of the strains being suffered by first responders and other community members in the wake of the Oso mudslide.

The city will present a Critical Incident Stress management briefing, with guest speaker Mary Schoenfeldt of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology, on Tuesday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center, located at 18821 Crown Ridge Blvd. adjoining Arlington High School.

Not only volunteers and first responders, but also spouses, family members, staff and community members are encouraged to attend, to learn ways of coping with their exposure to these recent traumatic events.

The slide brought about a significant number of highly stressful situations for the entire Arlington community, including its police, fire and emergency medical personnel. Many staff members and volunteers have reportedly been exhibiting signs of Critical Incident Stress, and needed education and mechanisms to cope with the traumatic events of the previous three weeks.

All Arlington Fire personnel were already directed to participate in a Critical Incident Stress management briefing, during which they were presented with some of the warning signs of Critical Incident Stress, as well as some ways to cope with it. Since Critical Incident Stress is not limited to first responders, Arlington Fire personnel’s spouses and other family members were also invited to participate in that briefing.

The presentation on April 29 will likewise provide attendees with tips and tools to cope with and recognize warning signs in others.

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