GCISF Crisis Hotline: 404-419-6506

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Updated: May 19, 2013

Letter from Jim...

Greetings GCISF Members and GCISF Website on lookers…

Well it’s been a quite a while since we’ve updated the web page….busy folks…what can I say. We’ll try to do better. And doing better is at the forefront of this update.

But first things first…
Tom Johnson who has served as our GCISF Operations Coordinator and anchored our Crisis Duty Officer team has a need to step away from those responsibilities. Suffice to say Tom’s dedication and service from the inception on the CDO concept has been invaluable. His resource management at our regional conferences got things done smoothly and will be the standard for years to come. To say his efforts will be missed doesn’t seem to adequately measure the man. Always a humble servant, Tom wouldn’t want a lot of fanfare over this so we won’t throw a big gala event like he deserves. Do join me when you can to send along best wishes and a note of thanks. You can email Tom at his GCISF account.

A new and better way…
We will be shifting our operational focus in the next few months at GCISF. This much needed shift is in response to a significant dilution with our response model and the random nature by which we select responders to Critical Incidents, each is relatedly problematic. It seems as though we have become satisfied with the unfortunate fact that whoever is available is good enough to respond to the incident. A second problem in our operation’s model is the coincidental departure from the CISM team approach to crisis intervention. Our response team has to be better defined before the game starts. And like any winning team we MUST practice together.
Please don’t take these observations to mean that I am not personally grateful to all those who have given of their time and talent to help in the past. However, we have always promoted the concept that willingness was never enough. It is long past the time when we must demonstrate the commitment and expertise that we have claimed to possess historically. Simply said we have not yet reached our potential. We will!
Our new operational goal is to create experts in the field of crisis intervention and from there drill a well practiced team in to functional existence. To do this we must re-emphasize the need for professional accuracy and quality assurance in the application of our model. Further, I am proposing a clearer definition of the leveled care we provide to responders in Georgia, as well as, and perhaps most importantly, identifying and intensifying the training of the experts who will provide that care.I want us to create an elite group of peer and professional providers that specifically respond to state level events. A state level event would be any critical incident that occurs in an organization where there is NO CISM program in place. (Inherently this is the most difficult response) The group would also support existing local teams as requested.
In the next few days I’ll be contacting several members who have served us well and ask them to consider becoming part of this identified expert response team. If I don’t personally contact you, and you’d like to be considered, do not be disheartened, it’s just an oversight on my part… CALL ME! To become a part of this elite team you must commit to attend quarterly training, about 4 hours every 3 months. Certain training and experiences prerequisites are to be considered along with a high level of personal commitment, which essentially may be the most important factor in participation. This team will be tested in training and each member will be coached to achieve the expert status that our constituents deserve.
My vision for our operational readiness is that we must get smaller to increase quality and depth and only then consider growth. I am looking for 20 members to participate in the first phase of this initiative. I am asking each of our CDO’s to participate in the program as requirement to continue in the CDO capacity. Our first training will be Saturday June 22, 2013 with a make-up date of June 29, 2013. Our focused topic will include team concepts and the tactical application of group processes. We will highlight the facilitation and logistics of two CISM components; the Small Group CMB and Defusing’s. You must be a current member of GCISF to participate as a responder for our organization.

Other things…
Advanced Group Crisis Intervention, Atlanta Area Training August 26-27, 2013.
Contact Jim to reserve your seat in the class.
COST: GCISF Current Members $75.00; Non-members $150.00

I do very much look forward to hearing from you…
Warmest personal regards,
Jim Nelms