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7 them to ensure ongoing emotional support for workers dur- The aviation industry has unique aspects as well. While ing the operation . . ." While the primary focus in the Federal the nature of CISM services is to address these types of issues, Family Assistance Plan for Aviation Disasters is to support the individuals are expected to face events that are associated with disaster victims and their families, supporting the emotional physical trauma. While Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) needs of support workers is also mentioned in the document. is a well-known diagnosis, training and experience will offer The Office for Victims Assistance (OVA) is contained within some familiarity (not immunity) with these types of reac- the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to the tions. The aviation industry, outside the fire/rescue and secu- FBI's website, this office is "responsible for ensuring that vic- rity forces, may have personnel who may have not dealt with tims of crimes investigated by the FBI are afforded the oppor- the stress of a disaster at any level in the course of their careers. tunity to receive the services and notification as required by This is not to say they are incapable of managing the incident, federal law and the Attorney General Guidelines on Victim but as a group, they may have individual training or recovery and Witness Assistance" (2005). Additionally, the OVA is re- needs that differ as a result of their work experience. These in- sponsible for the Terrorism Victim Assistance Unit. This unit clude the relative infrequency of aviation disasters compared "provides emergency assistance to injured victims and fami- to fire/rescue/police operations; the potential for a large scale lies of victims murdered in terrorist attacks within the U.S. event; the potential of responsibility or blame for the accident and outside the borders of the U.S. and serves as a permanent on those who are now asked to be involved in the disaster sup- point-of-contact for terrorism victims within the FBI" (2005). port process; the large number of people (passengers, family The FBI website also includes additional resources for service members, rescuers, press, investigators, etc.) needing support providers and victims of crime. One particularly noteworthy services; and the intense press presence. resource link provided is to the Office for Victims of Crime The aviation industry's focus on safety leads to careful (OVC), an office within the Department of Justice (DOJ). This scrutiny of its personnel. Pilots and air traffic controllers must office publishes the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services be medically screened on a routine basis to be in compliance which is located at with Federal Aviation Regulations. Conditions that would This directory "is an OVC resource designed to help service restrict their performance include many of those listed as providers and individuals locate nonemergency crime victim symptom complexes for acute stress reactions, PTSD, or the service agencies in the United States and abroad. The direc- variety of other psychological or medical complications that tory gives individuals the ability to search by location, type of may arise. Self-evaluation of the impact of stress on an indi- victimization, service needed and agency type." vidual's ability to function in demanding environments is difficult. Pilots and air traffic controllers may also face the dilemma of reporting psychological symptoms because reveal- Critical Incident Stress ing a mental health condition could later compromise their Management--Aviation medical certification, and therefore their livelihood. In a safety The impact of stress on human performance is well docu- culture where individuals are carefully monitored to mini- mented; therefore, it is expected that aviation managers would mize risks of performance problems, it may be difficult to be concerned with potential performance impairments among identify impaired individuals in a proactive way. personnel during and immediately following a critical inci- As discussed by Bonanno (2005), a large percentage of dent (Leonhardt & Vogt, 2006). Aviation personnel involved individuals involved in critical incidents are able to continue in critical incidents may have ongoing involvement with rescue, to perform at adequate levels in spite of the symptoms they are recovery, operational support of ongoing emergency activities, experiencing as a result of their exposure to a critical incident; or normal company operations. Distraction, lack of confidence, that is, these individuals exhibit resilience. While this finding and feelings of vulnerability are several of many symptoms that is a very positive aspect of human behavior, individuals with can have a significant effect on the safety of ongoing operations resilience may be difficult to differentiate from those in whom following a disaster. distraction or other impairments may affect operational safety. A comparison of the industry sectors that actively use CISM Resilience is identified as an outcome rather than a finding based shows that the aviation industry responds to critical incidents on the result of predictors prior to the event (Bonanno, 2005). in similar ways. Emergency medical services, fire/rescue depart- Factors that predict resilience have been identified. These ments, and law enforcement agencies are probably the largest factors may be considered for selection in high performance groups who routinely face critical incidents of natural and teams (e.g., military or exploration teams), but may not be seen manmade disasters. The technical nature of aviation-related, as a viable screening tool for hiring in the aviation industry. safety-sensitive positions may not be well understood by While some individuals may exhibit resilience consistent with "outsiders." The psychological response mechanisms are well predictive factors, it is not operationally significant; the need understood, however, and are common in all groups. for high reliability of human operators in these safety positions