The term “fit for duty” in modern firefighting goes beyond being physically fit to include being resilient to the stress and emotional effects of the job. For individual resilience, this means having the ability to prepare for and recover from stressful events so the responder can return to duty with some sense of normality. To accomplish this, responders must sleep well, eat right, and positively engage with peers.
Emergencies and disasters can have a profound impact on children. However, in 2004-2012, less than $0.01 of every $10 invested by federal emergency preparedness grants went to activities geared toward improving children’s safety. As the federal government plays a major role in funding and directing emergency preparedness, it is encouraging to see recent legislative and policy developments designed to increase planning and preparation for children of all ages.
Each person is affected by disasters in different ways. However, the reasons for these disparities stem from factors that can and should be addressed pre-disaster. The public health field is implementing measures to address at-risk communities and to help mitigate public health threats, which increase in magnitude during disasters. The equitable efforts of five cities are shared in this article.
Many actively practicing medical professionals are trained and available to deploy to the site of a natural or manmade disaster within hours after an event occurs. Although these medical professionals work with established and traditional leadership styles during their regular “day jobs,” the complex nature of disasters requires leadership approaches in the field that may seem inconsistent or even contradictory.
As one of the top 10 disaster-prone states in the nation, Florida continues to strengthen its ability to prepare for and respond to any disaster requiring specialized emergency surgical or critical care medicine. With shrinking budgets and increased demand, building effective and rapid disaster medical response capabilities requires more than just collaboration among governments, healthcare providers, hospitals, and the private sector.
A cohesive, well-developed disaster response team is essential to prevent adverse incidents and lives lost. Meeting current safety guidelines must be enculturated for a successful program, thus saving lives and providing optimal quality of life after a major disaster. Completing the minimal requirements for tasks to meet current safety guidelines is not enough to save lives.
On 7 June 2016, the Cambridge (Massachusetts) Police Department conducted a law enforcement officer training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to help bridge the understanding gap between officers and the citizens they serve. The training included more than 20 Cambridge career police officers and more than 15 representatives from collaborating local service providers.
Planning the response to a public health emergency can be a daunting endeavor. Many factors in multiple complex systems contribute to the potential for success in executing these plans at every level of the response. Preparedness planners have to consider these many factors to ensure that their plans can work despite potential failure points.
Most chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) critical incidents differ from more common hazardous materials (hazmat) events by virtue of four factors: broader scope, enhanced physical toxicity, malicious intent, and the potential to do the unimaginable. The net effect is new levels of stress and psychological toxicity.
With the current amount of discussion and media coverage regarding the spreading Zika virus and the mounting concerns over antibiotic drug resistance, public health remains a critical homeland security and emergency preparedness priority. Unfortunately, it is often a fluctuating priority that does not receive consistent attention, action, and funding to prepare for future known and unknown public health threats.