Family Assistance Foundation Announces New Awareness Training For Shipboard Employees

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The Family Assistance Foundation (FAF), in cooperation with the Cruise Line International Associations's (CLIA) Guest Care Committee, has developed a unique training module to familiarize shipboard employees with how to better assist those who may be affected by a crisis while on a cruise.

I can’t think of any other industry that has taken such extraordinary steps to ensure that virtually every person who could potentially come into contact with passengers during a crisis has been trained to respond compassionately and professionally

The Family Assistance Foundation (FAF), in cooperation with CLIA’S Guest Care Committee, has developed a unique training module to familiarize shipboard employees with how to better assist those who may be affected by a crisis while on a cruise.

With more than 13 million people in North America setting sail this year for cruise vacations, there are incidences where a passenger may fall ill, or the rare and unfortunate circumstance of a passenger passing away of natural causes while at sea. Recognizing the importance of crew members being able to properly assist with such a tragic event, the cruise industry is proactively promoting a cultural change to guarantee that these incidents are managed in the most compassionate and professional manner possible.

“Every single person who comes in contact with someone experiencing a crisis has the opportunity to either improve the situation or make it worse,” says Dr. Carolyn V. Coarsey, president of the Family Assistance Foundation’s educational research division.

Coarsey has spent more than 20 years researching the needs of individuals affected by crises, with a focused study of those who encounter crises while traveling. To develop this training module, she interviewed numerous guests, family members and cruise line employees to ensure the recommendations were evidence-based and industry-specific.

CLIA is North America’s largest cruise industry organization, representing the interests of 23 member cruise lines and participates in the regulatory and policy development process while supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. All of CLIA’s 23 member lines will now have access to the FAF program.

“I can’t think of any other industry that has taken such extraordinary steps to ensure that virtually every person who could potentially come into contact with passengers during a crisis has been trained to respond compassionately and professionally,” Coarsey said.

The 60- to 90-minute training module was developed so it can be provided onboard to crew efficiently and economically and includes a slideshow, a training guide and special video segments of survivors that allow participants to see the kind of impact they can have in a crisis.

“No organization can outsource a crisis involving its customers, employees, or others,” Coarsey says. “If staff is properly prepared to help and support the basic needs of those affected, they can make a real difference in their recovery. For the organizations, the benefits of this leadership are increased customer loyalty and affinity.”

For more information on this unique training module contact the Family Assistance Foundation at (404)881-2895 or on the website at http://www.fafonline.org.

About the Family Assistance Foundation:
The Family Assistance Foundation, Inc. is an independent non-profit corporation founded in 2000 for the purpose of empowering people following tragedy. Our mission is to support and improve business and industry responses to emergencies and disasters. The Foundation takes a unique, research-based approach to helping organizations successfully meet survivor’s (customers, affected families, employees, any member of the public impacted) needs by coordinating and mobilizing resources during the acute phase of a crisis and beyond. The Foundation’s annual symposium provides member organizations, as well as survivors, the opportunity to share lessons learned and information about how to continually improve response efforts and business practices. Foundation education and training programs support members by monitoring the long-term outcomes of those impacted by tragedy. Promoting awareness and building skills and knowledge for those who are charged with responding are crucial elements of the Foundation’s fully integrated training and support programs for business and industry. Please visit http://www.fafonline.org for more information.

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