Critical Incident Management Training

January 24, 2023
Younger hand holding an older person hand

Critical incident management training is crucial for dealing with crisis situations including (but not limited to) natural disasters, chemical spills, and extreme workplace violence. If you’re searching for emergency preparedness training for handling events like earthquakes, fires, or hurricanes, please visit the FEMA website for information on the Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) and other courses offered by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

If you’re looking for emergency preparedness or incident management training for dealing with emergencies like weapons violence in schools, please visit the Safe Havens International website.

CPI training should not be confused with the emergency management training offered by FEMA, Safe Havens International, or other organizations.

However, if you’re looking for staff training to help manage the behaviors that might emerge in the midst of natural disasters, chemical spills, weapons violence, or another disaster, CPI training can help you prevent anxious, frightened, or angry behavior from escalating—and it can help you stay calm and manage your own reaction if behavior does escalate. To help you prevent and manage behavioral incidents confidently and effectively, we offer a variety of tools, including tips, training, and resources.


When you participate in a CPI training program, you learn about the importance of staying in control of your own behavior. Here are five techniques to help you prioritize respect and safety for everyone involved in a situation in which an individual loses control of their behavior.

  • Have a plan.
    Decisions you make before a person loses control are likely to be more rational than decisions you make in the heat of the moment. Practice strategic visualization by mentally rehearsing how you would respond to violent behavior.
  • Try to Remain Calm.
    In any situation, your attitudes and behaviors affect the attitudes and behaviors of those around you. If you can stay calm and in control, your stability and rationality can help the escalating person calm down too.
  • Use a Team Approach.
    If you have to interact directly with a hostile person, try to have a coworker around to offer support and backup. You’ll find it easier to maintain control of your own behavior and reaction if you have help at hand.
  • Debrief.
    Be sure to debrief after a behavioral crisis. Discuss the situation with your coworkers, your supervisor, and everyone affected by the situation, as appropriate. This is also a good time to think about how you can better respond to similar behavior in the future—or prevent similar behavior from occurring again at all.



Training can help you recognize potentially violent behavior and respond appropriately without escalating it further. Be sure to have policies and procedures in place, and make sure that they’re clear, simple, and adhered to throughout your workplace. Also download our free Crisis Response Planning Checklist for tips on responding to behaviors quickly and efficiently.

Originally published January 9, 2014.