The Bulkley Valley Critical Incident Response Team (BV CIRT) recently honoured Karen Wilson of Smithers for her 25-plus years of Service to the team.
“Karen joined the team in the early 1990s when the team was still very wet behind the ears, training under Bruce Ramsay and Jess Ram, global leaders in critical incident response,” said Cornelia Huisman, program coordinator.
Members have traveled throughout the northwest in response to calls for service over the past 30 years on their own time. Their goal is to provide critical incident care for groups and individuals who have experienced a critical incident and exposure to trauma.
“Our BV CIRT team is known and very well respected in B.C. and is one of the longest-running programs in North America,” Huisman said.
Of Wilson, Werner Eichstadter, long term member of BV CIRT, said she has been great to work with and a “mainstay” in the group.
“There are four of us that have worked together since the beginning days, and Karen is one. She is also on the BC Ambulance team in Smithers and a part-time community paramedic in Houston, so she is a very busy person,” Eichstadter said.
“It is really important to recognize the milestones for people that give of their time and service to the community.”
The BV CIRT is a team of trained volunteers that provide support to groups in the Bulkley Valley and in other communities, who may suffer psychological or emotional distress following a critical incident.
“Examples of critical incidents include accidents, death of a colleague, natural disasters, a workplace crisis or a victim of violence, as everyone reacts differently to critical incidents. Traumatic events can be very stressful and can affect witnesses, co-workers and investigators, so the work of the team is extremely important in communities,” said Eichstadter.