Moore brings peace when lives are shattered
June 26, 2002
Once the ambulances, fire trucks and police cars have left, Sean Moore’s job starts.
He does not clear wreckage from the accident scene. He helps friends and family members clear emotional wreckage left behind after a loved one is lost.
“We give them an opportunity to express their reaction to it from an emotional point of view,” he said. “We assure them that what they are feeling is very normal.”
Moore is a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management team of volunteers who provide on-the-spot debriefing for people involved in traumatic situations.
He serves on the team for Carson City schools and for the regional umbrella organization serving Northern Nevada.
“It’s a very cooperative effort,” he said. “No individual entity has the resources to deal with something like this. We all work together.
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“We feel a lot of cohesion with each other here in Carson City and part of the larger group in Reno.”
When tragedy strikes, Moore and other volunteers counsel victims, family members and friends as well as emergency crew workers and witnesses.
A recent automobile accident on Interstate 80 left many members of a family dead or injured. Moore was there to speak with ambulance workers and other volunteers helped the family.
He was also in Walker, Calif., last week after a plane crashed while fighting the Cannon wildfire, killing the pilot and crew members.
He spoke with the those close to the victims, helping them come to terms with their shock and grief.
The sessions are two-fold: first, to allow the traumatized to express what they feel, then to coach them through the recovery process.
“Most importantly, they talk to each other,” Moore said. “We are just the facilitators giving them a safe place to talk about what they are feeling.”
Volunteers explain common symptoms and the average length of time needed to pass through the grieving process and recommend counseling to those who continue to suffer.
Individual debriefings are also available and all sessions are confidential.
The counselors must also make sure they deal with the emotions appropriately.
“Like any type of trauma, when you’re going through it you’re not aware of how it’s affecting you until afterward. But you are impacted by it,” Moore explained. “We make sure to take care of ourselves as well.”
An Ireland native, Moore, 67, has lived in the United States nearly 44 years and serves as coordinator of the employee assistance program at Carson-Tahoe Hospital.