When emergencies occur, first responders come to the rescue. Although there are some first responders who belong to a specific organization, many of these individuals belong to their own respective positions and responsibilities in the jobs they are enjoined in. For example, law enforcers are given ample time to be trained as first responders especially when responding to community emergencies involving their fields of concern (NFPA, 2009). Hence, while waiting for the response of medical paramedics, these first responders have the responsibility to save the lives of those who they hope to help. Notably, doing such a task is not as easy as it may seem to be. The responsibilities of considering the needs of the victims of an emergency occurrence need to be a clear line to follow for the responders. To do be able to handle such pressure, careful organization should be carried into account. Once this particular aspect of proper management is not given attention to, pressure and unnecessary stress occurs at work hence resulting to poor response to occurrences of emergency situations.
In the discussion that follows, a focus on how the application of proper management could ease out the procedures by which first responders handle their responsibilities at work shall be given clear definition. Notably, it is assumed in this discussion that first responders ought to know that proper management of situations could better provide them with the competence they need to not only complete their given tasks but also to serve the society well, according to the expectations that the people have on them.
Noting the Responsibilities
First responders can often be found in areas where emergency rooms or hospitals are far from the main communities. Usually common in rural areas, first responder teams are dedicated towards saving those who could still be saved during an emergent incidence. Members of such teams are often collaboratively collected between police officials, medical representatives and community volunteers (NFPA, 2009). The established cooperation between these actors plays a great role on how the first response actually affects the status of the community under threat during a certain emergency.
Among the responsibilities of the first responders include extensive consideration on who are still to be saved. Knowing that there are still people who are waiting to be saved is an important aspect of learning what the responsibility of the first responders is. As to those who were already able to survive on their own, first responders are prompted to check whether or not they still need extra attention especially when it comes to issues of medical concerns. Noting these first hand information is very important so as to help in creating an accurate data on the information of survivors and others that are still to be searched for in the area where the emergency occurred.
The first noted information from the first response shall help a lot in pursuing further recovery assumptions for the area and the people concerned in the incident. Providing such response shall define the role of the first responders in the scene. Giving ample cure or medical assistance to those who need it also increases the possibility of losing less and saving more individuals from the said occurrence. Being able to responsibly handle these considerations shall increase the competence of the first responders in completing their job and defining their role in the community.
Dealing with the Stresses through Management
Noting that the occurrences are most often than not immediate emergencies usually involving more victims than one, first responders are expected to experience pressure and stress during the process. Given that not all the members of the community will cooperate with the system of operation of the first responders, members of the team should be well prepared in handling unorganized communities. Notably, this aspect of the operation should be given first hand attention during the orientation of the first hand responders. It is very important then to hold regular group or team meetings where issues of community insubordination should be discussed. Alternative solutions to possible unforeseen conditions during the process of response should be given way.
Through proper preparation, first responders are given the opportunity to know what they are going to encounter in the field hence prepare themselves for such occurrences. It is also through this that unnecessary stress and pressure on the part of the responders would be easily avoided as everything has already been planned for. Proper management before, during and after the response procedures is very important especially in the case of assuring the competence of each team member and the manner by which they handle their responsibilities towards the community. The realization of satisfaction as a first responder of course depends on how one is able to realize his or her own worth based form the work of the entire team.
First responder role only becomes useful when it is handled effectively especially in times of emergencies that are hard to control. Aspects of people, environment and psychological impact of the events ought to be considered during the process of completing the first response protocols. Workers or the first responders themselves should be given the opportunity to recover from the situations. There are instances when improper management of responses often result to the unstable condition by which the responders become overwhelmed by the situation or traumatized at some point hence not being able to do their jobs competently anymore.
True, proper management of response operations before, during and after the incidents shall help avoid instances of trauma and insubordinate operations that hinder the success of the response approach (USDT, 1995). The well-managed design of the response approach protects not only the victims of certain emergencies, but also helps in retaining the emotional, psychological and professional competence of the first responders in the team.
Healthy first responders are able to complete their tasks successfully for their stakeholders. “Healthy” however means not only having good physical condition for the job but also having great mental condition to handle the pressures and stresses of the operations which the said individuals would be undergoing (CRCS, 2008). True, in emergency situations, the community expects so much from the first responders. Managing their operations beforehand, during and after the incidences shall help well in establishing a more defined process of response while retaining the mental stability of each member of the team. It is through this that team commotion could be avoided and success of response could be expected to occur.
National Fire Protection Association (2009 ed.). NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents. National Fire Protection Association. 2008. pp. 1670-12.
United States Department of Transportation: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. 1995. “First Responder: National Standard Curriculum“. pp. xiv.
The Canadian Red Cross Society (1 ed.) Emergency Care Manual. Guelph, ON: The StayWell Health Company. 2008. pp. 9.