ANNOUNCING… CISM: A Practical Review and Update….Online!

November 16-December 4, 2015

Staying current with your profession is not only tactically wise, it’s an ethical obligation we have as we touch the lives of others who are in extreme distress.

CISM: A Practical Review and Update will soon be offered to you as a means of staying current with the field of CISM. In partnership with UMBC Training Centers, ICISF has created a thoughtful and stimulating review and update of the field. Using state of the art online learning technology CISM: A Practical Review and Update helps you refresh your current knowledge with the most current thinking in the field.

Highlights of CISM: A Practical Review and Update include on-going self-assessments, videos, as well as up to date text and reference materials.

 You now have an opportunity to update your knowledge with a CISM Practical Review and Update. You may be a member of a team or otherwise involved with CISM and took the training several years ago. You want an update. Now you have one, and conveniently available via an online delivery method.

CISM: A Practical Review and Update intends to instruct people who have taken the core ICISF courses, and are seeking an update. There are no restrictions on who may sign up for the course, although people who are new to CISM should start by taking the full live courses.

Staying current with CISM knowledge, and maintaining confident training levels has never been easier. Sign up, sign on, and join the march into the future

The online course will also be an excellent way to review for the UMBC CISM Certification!

ICISF members will pay a registration fee of $250 and non-members, $295.00.

Registration fees are non-refundable.

The digital classroom for this course is provided by UMBC Training Centers thru Blackboard. Upon passing this course participants will receive a certificate of completion.

Questions may be directed to Victor Welzant, Psy.D. or Michelle Parks.

Registration should be available soon!

LifeNet Volume 26 Issue 3 is Now Available!

LifeNetLogoThe third issue of the 2015 series of LifeNet, the ICISF newsletter, is now available to members here on the ICISF website.

LifeNet is an exclusive benefit to members of ICISF. To access this latest issue, you will need the login provided to members by ICISF in the recent LifeNet publication announcement email. To log in, go to the Resources tab, then go to Membersip and click on “LOGIN.”  Once logged in, click on the LifeNet button under the Login button.

If you are a member and need assistance accessing LifeNet, or would like a printed copy mailed to you, please contact Michelle Parks at or by phone at (410) 750-9600.

Rest in Peace: Donald F. Gow, Sr. (1947-2015)

OI1593590553_imageIt is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our longtime employee and friend, Don Gow. Don’s commitment to CISM was without par. In his honor, we share this reflection by Donald Howell, our retired Executive Director.

ICISF lost a good friend of ours today!!!

ICISF just wanted to let you know we lost a good friend of ours today, Don Gow.

Don loved his God, his Country and his family (Jean, Sissy and Donnie). The rest of us fit in somewhere behind those three, and probably even behind his love for his dogs, Duncan and Pixie.

Don in the truest sense of the word, was a man’s man.

He exemplified the words Honor, Courage, Commitment and ‘Always Faithful.’ “OO-Rah” (USMC)
Fiercely loyal, truthful and a man of his word are several more traits that made up his character.

He had distinguished career with the United States Marine Corps.

For over 30 years he served with the Baltimore City Fire Department. Endless hours would be spent listening to him talk about ‘life in a big city far department.’

ICISF was most fortunate to have Mr. Don come on board with the Foundation, dedicating himself to the organization for over a decade. The mission of assisting those emergency services workers, and those in many other disciplines as well, in their time of need, was tailor-made for the man with a ‘heart’ of his size. It was his giving of himself so completely to ease the pain and anguish that endeared him to those he interacted with and made him the valuable asset he became to ICISF. He also was extremely knowledgeable about CISM resources and about experts throughout the field, as well as becoming the office’s AV and Logistical guru.

Another passion of Don’s came to light during the Christmas Holiday season. He would transform into S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S along with Ms. Jean as Ms. C-L-A-U-S. (The reason I spelled out those words was just in case any children might read this.) We were never quite sure who got the most enjoyment during those times, the children or Mr. Don. Maybe it’s both, for Mr. Don was truly a ‘kid at heart.’

One of Don’s greatest passions was that of history, particularly the Civil War, and specifically Gettysburg. Don, Ken Bohn and I would talk for hours about those ‘hallowed grounds’ and those brave individuals who fought and lost their lives for their beliefs.

He made annual trips to Gettysburg to learn more about its history, staying in a period hotel near the center of town that reputedly had spirits roaming the halls. He had many encounters with the spirits both in the hotel and on the battlefield. He was quite serious about those visions, and we are certainly not going to doubt him.

When ICISF received word this morning that he had passed earlier today, our first reaction was, ‘it can’t be, let’s just give it another 24 hours.’ For you see, Don had cheated death many times before. We talked about that on several occasions as he wondered why he had been spared so many times and asked to stay on earth a little longer.

We like to think it was so he could ease the pain of a few more souls and reach out to be just one more person’s friend.

While we’re saddened by Mr. Don’s passing; that sadness wouldn’t begin to compare to how we would feel if we never had the privilege to know the man and not have been able to call him my friend.

So his greatest gift, was allowing me to call him FRIEND.

We are all truly blessed that the good Lord shared Don with us for those for all those years.

If any of you ever make it up to Gettysburg, take that stroll through the battlefields and around some of the historic buildings downtown, and if you have a sense that that you are being guided in a particular direction, maybe, just maybe, it may be Mr. Don reaching out yet again to you, one of his many friends to lend his helping hand.

Thank you Mr. Don, in our heart you shall remain forever.

Donald Howell
Executive Director (retired)ICISF, Inc.

Suicide Awareness: An Introduction for Crisis Responders-Online Course Registration is now closed


Presented by: Victor Welzant, Psy.D.

ICISF is pleased to offer Suicide Awareness: An Introduction for Crisis Responders online course for the second time. This two week self-paced course will run September 14-25, 2015. Orientation will open August 14. This course is already part of the array of ICISF courses offered at Regional Trainings. Now, you can take this course from the convenience of your home, from work or the location of your choice.
The course is designed to increase awareness of suicide, and equip participants with information and basic skills to respond to a person considering suicide. Discussions, demonstrations, and scenarios are used to facilitate learning via modules designed for this new method of delivering this important training. This is an entry-level course suitable for anyone, especially people without formal mental health training.
Suicide Awareness: An Introduction for Crisis Responders is available for registration now. ICISF members will pay a registration fee of $250 and non-members, $295.00. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Program Highlights:
• Overview of Suicide
• Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
• Preventative and protective factors
• Risk and recognition
• Strategies for responding to those considering suicide
• Referral skills and resources

The digital classroom for this course is provided by UMBC Training Centers thru Blackboard. Participants will receive a certificate of completion with 7 contact hours/CE credit.

Click here for bio of instructor

Questions may be directed to Michelle Parks.


Becky Stoll Bids Farewell the ICISF Board – Dave Evans Appointed as Next Chair


Departing Chair of the Board, Becky Stoll

Becky Stoll, the Chair of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation’s (ICISF) Board of Directors is stepping down from that post and leaving the Board. Presiding over the Board meeting in May was her last act as Board Chair. Dave Evans, the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer, will step into the role as Chairman. He was elected to that post at the Board’s May meeting. Rick Barton serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the ICISF.
Ms. Stoll is the Vice President, Crisis and Disaster Management for Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest non-for-profit providers of community-based behavioral healthcare. She has served on the Board of Directors for the ICISF for nine years, including seven years as the Chair of the Board.
Ms. Stoll said recently, “It has a been a true honor to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors for the ICISF. We navigated some rough waters a few years ago but have come out as a stronger organization. Thank you to the membership for their ongoing support and commitment to helping those in need. I know Rick and Dave will continue to grow and improve the ICISF.”


Dave Evans, current Chair of the Board, ICISF, Inc.

Mr. Evans joined the ICISF Board of Directors in 2013. He is a certified public accountant and has served as the chief financial officer for two large non-profit organizations.
Mr. Evans said “We should be grateful to Becky Stoll for her years of service on the Board and especially for her leadership through some difficult issues for the ICISF. I look forward to working with the Board and with CEO Rick Barton and his staff. Together we intend to continue to strengthen the financial position of the ICISF and getting our story out there through aggressive public relations.”
The Board of Directors currently includes seven members and Mr. Evans indicated that the Board is open to considering interested new members. The Board meets quarterly and oversees the management of the ICISF through their chief executive.