"A place to go to get away from the everyday stressors of life, start the healing process, and deal with the incident that put you out of service in the first place"

~Stowe, MA., Firefighter, E.M.T., and Navy veteran of the U.S.S. Iowa explosion

 

  The On-Site Academy is a short term, intensive residential treatment center for rescue personnel who may be temporarily overwhelmed by the stress of their job, suffering from work-related cumulative or delayed critical incident stress, or experiencing an acute, transient reaction to a "critical incident."

      "Critical incidents" are defined (Jeffrey Mitchell, Ph.D.) as those events to which emergency personnel respond which have a high probability of overwhelming their ordinarily high coping abilities, such as the death of a child during the course of a rescue, prolonged failed rescue after a lengthy extrication, line of duty injury or death, or suicide of a working partner. Pursuant to fifteen years of research, and operation of volunteer "debriefing teams" since the Air Florida crash in Washington, D.C., in 1982, the data has strongly supported both the existence of "critical incident stress", and the effectiveness of the model developed by Mitchell. In research on debriefing, 87% of the emergency services workers debriefed reported no prolonged effects from the incident. Over time, critical incident stress debriefing and management has become a worldwide movement.

        The On-site Academy is an outgrowth of the critical incident stress debriefing movement. The field has moved to "critical incident stress management", including pre-incident education, peer support, debriefings, and when necessary, residential training and treatment, which is the role of the On-Site Academy. The goal of the On-Site Academy is to lessen the impact of the event or events, and to accelerate recovery. Available on a continuous basis, the On-Site Academy is dedicated to maintaining the health, safety and well being of rescue personnel and their families, and to helping restore them to service in their chosen field, as soon as they are able.