Officers from HM Customs and the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Service recently attended a bespoke two-day Critical Stress Debrief Course. The course was specifically designed for them as part of their wider Mental Health Training, and was held at Police Federation House in Leatherhead, Surrey.
The course was attended by ECO Borrell and ECO Charvetto from HM Customs, and DO De Haro, DO Ramirez, L/ff Rodriguez, L/ff Sanchez and F/f Rovegno from the GFRS.
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is a group meeting or discussion about a critical incident or a traumatic event, usually held within 48-72 hrs after an incident. The purpose is to encourage officers to share their experience in a safe and supportive environment. Officers who attended the course will be able to offer those who experience critical incidents at work support in processing the event.
Chief Fire Officer, Colin Ramirez, and John Payas, Collector of HM Customs, said in a joint statement: “Our many years of experience have taught us that in some ways, it is much harder to be an emergency responder in Gibraltar than it is in many other places. In a close-knit community such as ours, it is often the case where we must respond to incidents involving people we are close to – friends, relatives, etc. This adds to the complexities of our job and the emotional impact that this may have on our staff. Whilst we must commend our emergency responders for the way in which they manage these situations, it is also vital that we provide a robust support network that will contribute to their mental wellbeing, and subsequently enhance the service that we provide to the community”.