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Emergency Service Workers ESWs can experience excitement from saving property from destruction and the ultimate satisfaction of saving a life but the exhilaration and thrills can come to a holt when ESWs are faced with an occupational hazard called Critical Incident Stress CISMitchell 86 A critical incident does not have to be a major disaster but is any situation faced by Emergency Service Workers ESW that causes them to experience strange reactions which may have the potential to interfere in their performance of dutiess either at the scene or later Every year there is a high turnover of ESWs ie Police Ambulance Fire Brigade and volunteer organisations because of CIS It would be stupid to believe that ESWs can walk amongst broken bones burning bodiess handle body parts assist with the distraught survivors and view terrible destruction without being effected in some way by such graphic exposure People suffering from this experience physical emotional and cognitive effectsMitchell 86 CIS reactions are incident specific They may be either Acute or DelayedMitchell 81 An acute CIS reaction begins while the ESW is engaged with on scene operations It is an incident that is often very disturbing for ESWs and may become physically ill as a result of the intense stress level associated with the eventBush Fire Services 92 Under particularly stressing circumstances some maybe unable to function properly at the scene or at a later date This happens for example in the case of a death of a fellow worker in the line of duty and cannot return to his normal dutiess CIS at times can be so powerful as to cause mental and emotional breakdown in extreme cases deathMitchell 83 The most common cognitive or mental symptoms of an acute stress reaction are impaired thinking and decision making poor concentration and confusion memory problems flashbacks of previous scenes and poor attention spansMitchell 81 The
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