Critical Incident Response Teams

The late Mr. Rogers famously said “when I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me; look for the helpers, you’ll always find people who are helping. In times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I’m always comforted to know that there are still so many helpers; so many caring people in the world.” A Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is a group of professionals who provide care for people following a traumatic event. The main focus of CIRT is to provide care to the helpers, or the first responders. Dating back to 2001, our CIRT has been vital in providing support during a national crisis including to first responders in New York City on 9/11.

Our CIRT is a dynamic support group, able to support caring professionals and first responders who are reacting to death, natural disaster, or act of violence. Lead by Jodi Whitcomb, Senior Director of Innovation, Spyglass Solutions offers our CIRT support as an emergency resource to our contracted partners and their employees. Since 2014, we have responded to 72 events, utilizing more than 250 responders.

How does a Critical Incident Response Team work?

  1. Spyglass receives a call requesting CIRT support
  2. The CIRT will assess impact to find out how large the scope of the situation is, who are the people impacted by the traumatic event, and how severe that impact is
  3. CIRT will determine the individualized need for the people in the situation
  4. CIRT will work with the leaders in the situation to implement the required support services

A CIRT plan is not always simple. In many situations, professionals who are impacted by a traumatic event are still expected to work. This occurs frequently in a school or hospital where teachers and nurses aren’t able to stop their jobs in order to take time to care for themselves. Our response plans account for these situations and make sure that the interventions being initiated do not have inverse consequences on other people in need of care. Historically, people who are in the business of helping others do not take good care of themselves. An effective CIRT understands that they are providing support to people who are more comfortable doing the caring than being cared for. 

Do you need or know of someone who needs emergency access to the Spyglass CIRT? Contact us at 610-799-7400 or 

Jodi Whitcomb

Jodi has more than 20 years of experience working in children’s mental and behavioral healthcare. Her experience spans the continuum of supporting children, adults, families, and communities. She has also managed a critical incident response team for the last two decades, which responds to significant traumatic events impacting children, professionals, and surrounding neighborhoods. Jodi has presented nationally on trauma, bullying, parenting, child safety, and crisis response and intervention. Jodi is on the cutting edge of behavioral health product development and designs and leads national initiatives to improve care quality through creative product solutions and innovation. Jodi has also led development and implementation for curriculum instruction to address direct care needs in 25 different healthcare areas including trauma, resilience, suicide prevention, bullying and aggression, child and adolescent development, preventing boundary breaking and abusive relationships, lifespace crisis intervention, critical incident response, and leadership development. 

Copyright by SpyGlass. Powered by KidsPeace

Copyright by SpyGlass. Powered by KidsPeace

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