The New South Wales Fire Brigades' critical incident stress management response to the Thredbo Landslide.

International journal of emergency mental health

PubMedID: 11227742

Clifford B. The New South Wales Fire Brigades' critical incident stress management response to the Thredbo Landslide. Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2001;1(2):127-33.
The Thredbo Landslide occurred just before midnight on Wednesday, July 30th, 1997. The first call was received by the Regional Fire Communications and subsequently to Sydney where a multiagency response to the first Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) incident in Australia occurred. After ten days, eighteen bodies had been recovered and one survivor rescued, with one of those victims a member of the Thredbo Fire Brigade. Although some 2000 emergency service personnel were involved in the overall operation, 120 firefighters were at the forefront of the "hands on" rescue throughout the incident. In New South Wales the emergency services each have their own Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) programs which operate independently from each other, and this was the case at Thredbo. This paper will describe how the New South Wales Fire Brigades CISM Program managed the Thredbo incident for the 120 New South Wales Fire Brigades firefighters and officers who attended the rescue operation. We are pleased to share this experience and what we have learned in the hope that it might be helpful to others.