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28 One ALPA member noted that teams working with cock- methods that are counterproductive, should be discussed with pit voice recordings would request a pilot who knew the inci- incident investigators during training programs. dent pilot, in order to assist with voice recognition and oper- ALPA's CIRP has strong support from the two members ational questions. This work was done in Washington, D.C., who are familiar with the program. Both feel peers designated removed from the incident site and other ALPA support as mental health support team members are an effective mea- personnel. Listening to the voices of colleagues during the sure when used onsite, in real time, and are known to the team incident is considered to have a high potential for personal during the experience. reactions and psychological trauma. In response, ALPA now dispatches mental health support personnel (CIRP) to accom- 4. Innovative EAP Builds pany pilots involved in this type of work. Employee Resilience When discussing situations in which individuals did not receive needed help, the ALPA investigators strongly felt a The following information was taken from an in-depth inter- professional mental health support program would have been view with an organization that regularly works with traumatic of assistance, if available onsite. events. This organization has outsourced their EAP. Employee retention is a very important aspect in any com- pany, but when the personnel are a highly trained, specialized Other Issues group of individuals doing very specialized tasks, it becomes These investigators acknowledged they are often told of critical that the employees are retained and are given the incidents with immediate orders for departure to the scene. opportunity to build their resilience. Most organizations have Although the travel time, organizing an arrival to the scene, EAPs in place; they are normally stand alone outside resources and verifying that the site has been secured creates a hectic that are not within reach during the normal course of business. schedule, they note they don't have time to prepare for the Efforts are usually needed for an employee to access the needed resources, and in some cases there are time gaps in receiving investigation psychologically. One investigator recalled a the benefits. Another divisive issue is that some employees feel phone call notifying him of an incident that was in progress there is a negative stigma attached when reaching out to one's at the time of the call. A pilot was riding a tug to the aircraft EAP and therefore some employees do not ask for the help crash and fire within minutes of the impact to notify ALPA that is needed. investigators of the incident. Crash/fire/rescue, security, med- The organization that this case study depicts has deviated ical personnel, and airport workers may also find they have from the standard EAP process and has chosen to integrate little time to prepare for the trauma of the incident scene. their EAP contractor into their employee relations from initial training events up to and including regular field work. The Important Points EAP contractor will venture out to the organization head- quarters, as well as, in field visits and specialized site visits while These investigators believe that some individuals working the employees are actually working a disaster. in this field are susceptible to psychological trauma as a result This integration allows the employees to form personal of their experiences. It does not appear to be predictable to the relationships with the EAP contractor and accordingly, this investigators as to who is at risk. It is also noted that suscepti- person may also play a peer role to the employee. This is espe- bly can change according to the circumstances of the incident cially unique, in the fact that, some people like to talk about or issues surrounding the individual. particularly disturbing events with someone who has actu- Preparation through training and simulation are consid- ally been to an event of such magnitude. The importance of ered valuable not only for work effectiveness but as a coping this integration is the psychological first aid that can be given mechanism. Simulation of the chaos and pressure in some and received on-scene. A licensed mental health worker can incident investigations are difficult to replicate in the train- assist the employee, and the employee has had the opportu- ing setting and make the experience of incident investigation nity to establish rapport and a trusting relationship with the a learning experience in itself. EAP provider. Triggers that remind or create unpleasant memories or stress Essentially, the EAP has been inextricably woven into the reactions are important to recognize, as avoidance appears to protocols of the organization, and there is organizational-wide be possible for some individuals. Foreknowledge of this topic acceptance of the mental health provider, thus wiping away is considered worthy of discussion in a training program. any stigma that may be negatively attached to the situation. An Camaraderie can create teams who monitor each other's employee working a traumatic event has the benefit of work- performance and ability to cope with the situation, providing ing alongside the EAP contractor, and the contractor is able support when needed. Coping mechanisms, and especially to assess the employee on site. The EAP contractor becomes a