Are You Really Ready for Anything?
When a crisis or calamity occurs, Emergency Managers need to remain operational. The way a person stays operational has a lot to do being ready. Preparedness can prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Emergencies come in many forms and having the right plan for any possible contingency can aid in keeping people safe.
You could be at work, running errands, or at a ball game and encounter someone choking, you could be in class and watch someone fall back in their chair, hitting their head. What would you do? You need a plan, you need to be prepared, and you need to be ready to give aid until someone with more skills arrives. One of the first lessons we learn when diving into the Incident Command System is that, the first person on scene is the incident commander until a more qualified person shows up. The reason for this is partially because seconds count and if someone is not taking care of a situation, lives might be lost. I am not a medic, but it is imperative that I learn some basic skills that I can utilize until someone with more training arrives.
“When the gunman opened fire on 22,000 people in Las Vegas last month, hundreds of first responders arrived to the mass casualty incident. However, there were also everyday citizens helping victims run for cover, transporting wounded victims, and tying tourniquets to stop major bleeding.” Something as simple as a Red Cross basic first aid class could save lives.
Planning helps us understand what to do when a disaster strikes. Emergency Managers are hard-wired to be ready for anything. We are prepared and ready for the next tornado, hurricane, or flood, but what about everyday emergencies. What about the man at the table next to you at dinner who falls over after suffering a heart attack; are we ready for that emergency?
An all-hazards approach to our work makes us very good at being ready for any number of possible crises. I think we need to start approaching life in general with the same tenacity. You are the help until help arrives.