The main role of first responders is to provide immediate and initial services during an emergency. This can involve anything from blocking lanes of traffic around the scene of an accident or securing a perimeter around an active shooting. First responders are trained and continually develop a set of skills and traits that we can learn from. This can help us to be better prepared and equipped if we are ever thrust into an emergency situation with little or no warning.
First responders always maintain a perpetual state of readiness, even if police, firefighters and paramedics do so in different ways. It may involve testing equipment before starting a shift, drilling or training in between calls or simply looking around and improving situational awareness. They do not know what kind of call they will respond to next. They can’t predict what will happen or how they will react.
However, they are also equipped with basic items that can be useful during the majority of the calls they will receive. This can include extra weapons, medical equipment or fire trucks that are already loaded with water so that it can be used on a fire while hose lines are being connected to the hydrant.
Make sure that you have essential supplies, continually examine them to make sure they are still good, and have the skills to use them. Run through different scenarios and research how successful or unsuccessful attempts to deal with the situation influenced an outcome. Learn from successes and failures. Have a few contingency plans at hand, and start walking through specific steps that you will take so that you will be ready to act accordingly during a crisis.
Training and readiness kind of go hand-in-hand. The amount of training that someone takes will directly contribute to the level and quality of readiness they currently possess. If someone has a vague idea of how to deal with being stranded on a snowy road in the middle of nowhere, chances are they will not make good choices or uses available resources effectively. Make sure that you know what to do and are competent enough to do the right things during a crisis. It’s also important to know how to use equipment, resources and tools as effectively as well. This will decrease the chances of making mistakes, causing damage or injury. Knowing how and when to use things without hesitation or going through a “learning curve” will dramatically your ability to weather whatever storm you are facing.
First responders generally carry appropriate equipment that relates to their purpose. Fire Stations have lots of tools and hoses. Ambulances have medical items and police have weapons, traffic management tools and a first aid kit. We don’t have the luxury of preparing for one disaster or crisis. We can’t segregate our efforts in the way that professional emergency services are designed. We need to think of basics, such as food and water, security, shelter and a really good end-game. Consequently, our equipment needs to be specific as well as universal.
However, this doesn’t mean that we need a lot of stuff. It just requires to organize ourselves in a beneficial manner. For example, we should all have an emergency vehicle kit. We should all have a balanced and active food-storage system in the home that will supply us during short-term emergencies. We should have resources available to offset power outages or disruptions to water supplies We should have a bug-out-bag at all times, and there are also circumstances that may warrant bringing one to work or school.
In other words, we need to have our bases covered and diversify. Make sure that you are stocked and ready to go, establish goals and stick to your preparedness efforts. Hone skills, improve efficiency and obtain necessary training that can help you to mount an effective first response. Only you can decide what this entails, but maintaining readiness, keeping skills sharp and being equipped to address the matter at hand are essential. Pay more attention to the qualities and characteristics of our first responders and adapt them to your own planning and goals, and watch how quickly you become more confident in your role as a prepper.