Post-Incident Evaluation

Post-Incident Evaluations for Public Safety personnel consists of three parts: debriefing, interviews and assessment. The debriefing and interviews are conducted by trained staff and reviewed by a licensed psychologist who specializes in post-traumatic reactions.

Part One: The Debrief
The first 30 to 40 minutes of a debriefing involves explaining what Post- Traumatic Reactions are and what causes them. The discussion involves visual, auditory, smell triggers, that are caused by such events and how they can cause possible future problems (emotionally, physically and mentally) in future actions in one’s professional and personal life.

Part Two: The Interview
Individual interviews are conducted with everyone directly involved in a potentially traumatic event. The goal of the individual sessions is privacy. It is also an opportunity for the individual to reveal their true thoughts, feelings and actions without peer pressure. The interviews focus on a person’s Social History, Vocational and Educational History. Social, Vocational and Educational background oftentimes are a predictor of a person’s ability to handle a traumatic experience. For example, a healthy social history (stable family background) can decrease the likelihood of a traumatic event having long- lasting negative effects. Social support is critical when experiencing very intense and negative life experiences. The interviews also focus on body language (facial display, kinetic movements), voice tone, and the processing of thoughts and emotions following a traumatic event.

Part Three: The Assessment
Following the debrief and interview, the individuals complete a self-assessment called the Impact of Event Scale. It measures 25 emotional and mental symptoms often associated with traumatic events in one’s life.