International Association of Fire Fighters Local 18   /   Vancouver Fire Rescue Services 

​VANFIRE Wellness

Recognize the signs of stress

Our bodies often react to cis before we're aware of it. here are some common signs and symptons of stress reactions


*indicates need for medical attention

  • Chest pain, difficulty breathing.*

  • Rapid heart rate, rapid breathing.

  • increased blood pressure.

  • dizziness, profuse Sweating.*

  • upset stomach, diarrhea.

  •  feeling uncoordinated.

  • sleep disturbances, headaches.

  • tremors (lips, hands).*

this list includes more common symptoms of a stress reaction, but does not detail all cis indicators, if you are concerned about the way you are feeling, speak in confidence to a CISM team peer or professional.


  • wanting to limit contact with others.

  • substance abuse, increased smoking.

  • vacant stare.

  • Acting out anger (hitting/kicking the wall).

  • Change in appetite.


  • Slow thinking, confusion.

  • memory problems.

  • re-living the event (flasbacks).

  • Distressing dreams.

  • Difficulty making decisions or problem solving.

  • difficulty focusing or concentrating.

  • disorientation (place/time).


  • Anxiety, fear, guilt, anger.

  • depression, sadness, irritability.

  • Feeling lost, feeling isolated.

  • worried about others, sense of shock.

  • feeling numb or abandoned.

  • exaggerated startle response.