This Week's News and Notes: NATCA CISM Honored with Major Industry Award
Friday, March 01, 2013

NATCA CISM Coordinator/ Team Lead Tom Morin and National EAP Manager and FAA counterpart Rosemary Katchmar

With the unknown and "what ifs" of sequestration, it's a nice breath of fresh air to recognize the outstanding work our air traffic controllers do day in and day out. For the second time since October, the NATCA Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team of air traffic controllers received a major industry award. The International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF) honored the Team on Feb. 23 with the Pioneering Spirit Award. This award highlights a CISM team that has gone from grassroots humble beginnings to being part of the professional culture and fabric of the organization.

The NATCA CISM Team was organized in late 1994 and implemented in 1995. For over 18 years these air traffic controllers have volunteered their time to assist fellow controllers in need after an acute stress event such as aircraft accidents. These events stretch beyond air traffic control and also include response to employee deaths and natural disasters, or any event that causes acute distress for people.  

The key to the success of CISM is peer support and the NATCA team is no exception. Peers have provided countless volunteer hours helping their brothers and sisters after a critical incident. There's no reason for any controller to “go through it alone” after an on the job incident.

“Being a peer means that we do not have to spend time building trust and rapport when we provide support to our fellow controllers," said said CISM Coordinator/ Team Lead Tom Morin. "The trust is already in place because we are one of them. And this contributes greatly to our continued success.”

Sept. 11, 2001 was by far the biggest challenge as a team, Morin said. NATCA CISM provided support to 14 affected facilities, taking about four weeks to reach everyone at all those facilities.   

"People often asked what we did to take care of ourselves after that and we made sure we had time together as a team to unwind and formally debrief," said Morin.

At a time when the Union support system is so critical, it's important to recognize these individuals for their efforts in supporting NATCA members when they need it the most.

If you are involved in any event that causes distress, from a car accident to an aviation accident, feel free to contact us at (202) 505-2476 or email at Please do not go through it alone. We will return your call or text or email as soon as we possibly can. Check out our website:

NATCA National Office Participates in Recurrent Training

NATCA Recurrent Training Instructors Kevin Gallagher and Jamaal Haltom, at the National Office on Feb. 28.


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March 22 - San Diego-North Miramar, Calif. / Registration Deadline March 11

April 12 - Los Angeles / Registration Deadline March 29

April 17-Gainesville, Va. / Registration Deadline April 5

May 6 - Oklahoma City / Registration Deadline April 22

May 10-Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Registration Deadline April 26

May 20 - Daytona Beach, Fla. / Registration Deadline May 6

June 7-Columbus, Ohio / Registration Deadline May 24

June 22-San Antonio, Texas / Registration Deadline June 7

If you wish to register for one of the above referenced seminars, please do so by signing on to the NATCA Portal:

Please verify the personal information listed for you including email and cell phone number. If any information is incorrect or missing, please correct or add it under the "My Profile" tab.

To register for a seminar, click the "Events" tab. Then click "2013 Retirement Seminars-Membership Registration." Complete the requested information and hit "next." When you come to the screen listing the seminars, click on the box next to the one you wish to attend, hit "next," verify your requested seminar information and then click on the "done" key. You will receive a confirmation email that your registration was complete.

Spouses and significant others are also invited to attend. Please ensure that you add them to the registration when asked if you will be bringing a guest.

For your guide to “Understanding your NATCA Federal Benefits Package,” please visit this Web site: If you attempt to register for a seminar on this site, it will automatically lead you to the NATCA Portal.

If you have any questions regarding these events, registration process – or would like to have a retirement seminar take place in your area - please contact Sallie Sullivan at NATCA’s National Office by either emailing her at or calling 202-220-9803.