The Transportation Department’s Critical Incident Response Training (CIRT) team recently returned to the Winpisinger Center (W3) to participate in its fifth annual class. The 25 participants applied the knowledge and experience they gained from their first four years on the team to this year’s back to the basics curriculum.
“The IAM is excited that the CIRT team was able to return to the W3 Center for more vital training,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “Their continued education ensures our members have a team ready and able to provide the safety and protection they may need in the event of a crisis.”
This year’s class was taught by Dr. Jeffrey Mitchell, Clinical Professor and Co-Founder of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. The course focused on basic crisis intervention: strategies and assisting individuals in crisis.
The team also prepared by working through mock disaster scenarios to understand better how to handle crises and apply Dr. Mitchell’s techniques.
The class members are active Employee Assistance Program (EAP) representatives selected from the Transportation Department. The main goal of the annual courses is to train the students on how to best help individuals cope with the effects of a traumatic event or critical incident.
The Transportation Department developed the class in response to the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 in Orlando, directly affecting some of its members.
Since its inception, the CIRT team has responded to numerous incidents, including the aftermath of a deadly hurricane season, a fatal incident aboard a Southwest Airlines plane forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia, and the shootings in a Henry Pratt manufacturing plant in Aurora, IL and a Walmart store in El Paso, TX.