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September 27, 2001
Toronto Fire Services Deploy Critical Incident Stress Team to New York City
Toronto Fire Services Deploy Critical Incident Stress Team to New York City

Chief Speed states "It is all but impossible to imagine the stress, trauma and
sheer grief when firefighters are frantically searching through the tons of
debris and rubble knowing that hundreds of their friends, colleagues, and
citizens are buried beneath it". Toronto Fire Services has been contracted
through the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the
co-ordinating body for the rescue efforts in the United States, to send the
Toronto Fire Services Critical Incident Stress (CIS) Team to New York City.

A CIS Team made up of six firefighters, has been deployed to New York City as
of 0700 hours Thursday September 27th under the direction of Co-ordinating
Chaplain Dr. Ron Nickle. The Team of six firefighters will be involved up to
one week and future assistance will be determined by FEMA.

The CIS Team responds to fire services personnel and emergency responders who
because of their profession have been placed in situations where they may
suffer the agony of dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome. The Team has
been trained in debriefing frontline firefighters who have been involved in
emergency incidents dealing with the rescue of individuals with devastating
injuries or recovering the bodies of individuals who have died in disasters. No
one is immune to this type of stress and its debilitating side effects. Early
intervention by CIS Team can greatly reduce the impact of traumatic events to
emergency responders.

Chief Speed states "the contribution of the Toronto Fire Services Critical
Incident Stress Team will be significant in supporting the New York City
firefighters who will continue to be involved in a very long and difficult
rescue/recovery mission".

Dr. Ron Nickle and Ron Seymour, Director, CIS Team will be the spokespersons
for the Teams going to New York City. Fire Chief Alan Speed will be the
spokesperson for Toronto Fire Services. The above individuals can be contacted
at 416-338-9061.

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