Major Incident Response Team

The team works closely with multi-agency professionals, such as the police, local authorities and coroners, to provide confidential support to anyone who may find themselves caught up in an incident or event that is outside of normal life.

Examples could include:

  • road traffic accidents
  • sudden deaths
  • community evacuations
  • witnessing or being caught up in larger emergencies

The team comprises a group of trained volunteers who offer their time to help with emotional and practical support. All members are trained in mental health and psychological first aid, along with safeTALK, applied suicide intervention skills training and assisting those bereaved by suicide. The team have also received training from other professional organisations such as Cruse Bereavement, Alzheimer’s Society and Autism Awareness.

Who the team supports

In the immediate aftermath of a major incident many people will be affected. They may be survivors of the incident, relatives of the survivors or those who die, or they may be affected simply by being involved in the response to the incident.

Some of these people may need trauma support after such an incident, but in a short time they recover sufficiently to readjust to some sort of normality. Some people, however, will need a higher level of trauma support for some time after the incident and a few will need continued support over many years. This also applies to anyone involved in the rescue and support.

How the support is offered

The major incident response team offers a 24-hour service. After each incident is assessed and the appropriate response is put in place, the team offers emotional and practical support to individuals or communities affected so that a sense of normality and control can be regained. This is a professional and sensitive service for individuals that is also available for staff who have experienced challenging or traumatic events outside of their normal working situations.

The team is also responsible for the management of rest and reception centres throughout the county, including the City of York, and once called out, will co-ordinate the multi-agency response.