CISM Defusings
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There are three components to a Defusing:

Introduction Phase:  The facilitator is introduced.  The purpose
of the defusing is stated. As with a debriefing, the rules are stated and confidentiality is stressed.  The participants are reassured that this is not an investigative process and the defusing process and goals are described.

Exploration Phase:  Personnel are asked to describe the incident. Clarifying questions may be asked.  Experiences and reactions are shared.  The group is assessed to determine need for additional help (i.e. debriefings or individual referrals)
and reassurance provided.

Information:  The information is summarized.  Experiences and reactions are normalized.  Coping skills are suggested, stressing importance of diet, need to avoid alcohol, fat, sugar, and salt.  Rest, taking care of self, family life issues and need for recreation and exercise are discussed.


All statements, facts, opinions and discussions that are expressed during the process shall be considered confidential.

Participation should be encouraged for all personnel directly
exposed to the traumatic aspects of the incident.  While attendance is encouraged, active participation in the process is not mandatory.

Each participant will be allowed to freely express his or herself however, no criticism is permitted.

There will be no formal recordings or written notes of the session.

No one will be allowed to leave the defusing or debriefing once it has started, except for personal needs.  Any individual leaving will be  accompanied by a team member.

The defusing or debriefing will not be a forum for discussion of departmental policy, criticism of specific personnel or a critique
of the operation. The debriefing process provides a format in which personnel may discuss their  feelings and individual reactions to the incident, thus reducing stress which results from exposure to critical incidents. 
Participants will be shielded from the media immediately before and following any defusing or debriefing.  Media shall be handled by the Public Information Officer.

Only department personnel who were involved in the incident will be allowed to participate.

Family members and friends will not be allowed to attend.  A separate defusing or debriefing may be held for family members and/or friends if deemed necessary and appropriate.