Emergency response is essentially the first set of actions meant to address any disaster or dangerous occurrence. It aims to reduce the risks, and harmful effects brought about by any hazard. Generally, it’s a part of a state’s overall emergency management, and in many cases, it’s delivered by certified and trained workers.
Though it may not be a requirement for your job or lifestyle, emergency response is a critical skill that may come in handy at some point. Different institutions offer courses on it, and if you’re a resident of British Columbia, a number of them could be available in your area.
If you’re undecided about whether you should enrol in these courses, this article will give you a run-down on the importance of emergency response to help you decide.
Levels Of Emergency Response Courses
In British Columbia, you could check out the different training providers near you, such as Alert First Aid, so you can have a concrete idea of what these courses entail. Then, you can choose between the different levels of emergency response courses, which include the following:
In this course, you will learn about the principles of how to anticipate the possible hazards that may happen in a specific place. You can learn how to perform proper assessment of an area. For example, you may look into low-lying areas that may be prone to devastating floods. You could also identify shorelines that may be affected by storm surges and tsunamis. Based on the details of these locations, you can devise a prevention plan.
Generally, this centers on the empowerment of communities that may be immediately affected by disasters. In this course, you will learn how to equip a community with tools and equipment that may help mitigate damage. You may also undergo various types of training, such as first aid, body retrieval, debris removal, and life support, should those communities need your help.
In this course, you will learn about the first actions taken by responders in specific emergencies. Since there is no one-size-fits-all response to emergency situations, you’ll be educated on the specific actions that should be taken for different disasters and hazards. There may also be simulation exercises to help you better understand what needs to be done in those situations.
In this course, you’ll focus on post-disaster services. This may include debris removal training and similar activities. In addition, you’ll be taught about the different actions you can take to help an affected community return to normalcy.
Why You Should Take An Emergency Response Course
Now that you know the different levels, which you can take one at a time or in a cluster, it’s important that you understand why it’s important to take an emergency response course.
1. It Equips You With Important Skills
While emergency response courses are intended for large-scale purposes, enrolling in one will enable you to learn a vast array of skills you could put to personal use. Training may include basic first aid applications, including the following:
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Compression protocols
- Bleeding control
- Tourniquet applications
Over time, the complexity of the training may increase. You will learn skills that are suitable for more serious situations, including how to handle multiple injuries and how to deal with property damage.
If you’re able to successfully complete an emergency course, you can apply these learnings not just during major disasters but also in emergencies that may occur within your personal life. The different types of training that equip you with these skills include the following:
- Basic First Aid
These training are usually given by first-class and certified instructors. Because of their expertise, the course is often anchored on the principles of the Red Cross and other reputable institutions. The topics in this course involve proper wound dressing and fracture care. In addition, it also covers first aid responses for choking, such as the Heimlich manoeuvre.
- Basic Life Support
This training will teach you how to perform basic first aid, initial assessment, CPR, and removal of airway obstructions. These generally focus on actions taken to provide quick medical attention to people suffering from cardiac arrest or breathing difficulties.
- Remote First Aid
This training is ideal for people who work in remote places that are far from hospitals. If you spend a significant amount of time in the wilderness or in similar sites, this may be a big help.
- First Responder Course
This could be the most comprehensive of all the courses, as it centers on how to treat serious injuries caused by disasters and other hazards.
- First Aid Instruction Certification
This course is meant for individuals who want to be first aid course instructors. Like other certifications, you will need to undergo a lengthy process and take an evaluation at the end to see if you’re fit for certification.
2. It Empowers You As Well As The Community You’re Helping
You may need to take a rigorous emergency response course if you’re often part of disaster response and volunteer response groups. Being equipped with the appropriate skills will allow you to contribute more, thus helping to empower the city or state you reside in or volunteer in.
3. It Keeps Your Skills Up-To-Date
The protocols for emergency response may change from time to time, depending on new developments and technological advancements. To be more effective in executing emergency responses, you should ensure that you’re adept at handling different tools, even as they go through changes or enhancements. The instruments and equipment you should learn to use include the following:
- Extracting Boards
Otherwise known as backboards or spinal boards, these handling devices are used to carry persons with suspected limb or spinal injuries.
- Oxygen Tanks
Comprised of a cylinder, a regulator with a pressure gauge, and a flow meter, this is used in transporting patients with breathing difficulties.
- Disaster Kits
These typically contain non-perishable food good to last for at least three days, a gallon of drinkable water, a first aid kit, a whistle, a battery-powered radio, and a flashlight. These are basic necessities for responders who may work in locations that are in critical condition.
- Fire Safety Equipment
These may include properly charged fire extinguishers, fire suits, fire retardant covers, and spare parts for extinguishers.
- Triage And Lighting Essentials
These could include temporary shelters, cordon materials, emergency lights, and ropes. Apart from providing know-how on handling tools and equipment, emergency response courses also teach you proper maintenance for the equipment. You’ll learn where the kits and equipment should be stationed for easy access and use. In addition, you’ll get up-to-date information on the proper handling of real-life emergencies.
4. It’s A Long-Term Investment For The Workplace
If you’re a business owner, it would be a good idea to send your workers to emergency response training. First, they’ll be able to raise awareness about the possible hazards in the workplace. Second, you’ll be able to save time, money, and effort because they can apply these skills if an accident were to occur.
For example, if you have workers who are stationed in settings prone to danger, such as on a construction site or in a warehouse, an emergency response course could equip them with the proper knowledge and skills for first aid. This way, they could provide assistance to any colleague who falls ill or meets a work-related accident.
5. It Saves Lives
This sounds cliche, but it’s the very essence of an emergency response course. With proper training, you can earn the skills necessary to help save lives. In addition, you can apply these learnings in various situations, whether it’s a minor emergency or a disaster response operation.
The more people with emergency response training at the workplace or in a community, the higher the chances of people being saved if disaster strikes.
6. It Promotes Awareness Of Emergency Protocols And Policies
The emergency protocols followed by response teams and staff are essentially the backbone of emergency management. Emergency response courses may incorporate these programs and policies to educate individuals who’d like to join response teams.
If you enrol in a course to learn occupational first aid, you will still support these protocols. This is the same for anybody who gets to take foundational first aid courses in school or at the workplace.
To give you a clearer view of what the emergency protocols and policies are, here are the seven elements of emergency response:
Conducting Situation Assessment
Situation assessment includes checking the area for risks or damages. Visible threats, such as open pits, mountainsides, and water bodies, may help you determine the probable dangers posed. Open highways, power plants, and airports are additional considerations, as well as the weather of the location.
In the context of workplaces and schools, situation assessment is still necessary, though the coverage may be much smaller. In many cases, fewer people are involved, which may include individuals who have minor injuries. If the situation has been assessed as too complicated for you to handle, authorities in the workplace or school should already have a plan in place for referral of the situation.
- Choosing Appropriate Action
The appropriate actions may include the plans and policies to be implemented when a disaster or accident happens. For this, you may need to have direct and proper coordination with other responders. Generally, there should be a common unit that oversees all the activities and collects and interprets the data from the field. These could be the basis for further changes and decisions by the response teams.
- Setting Up Rally Points
Being able to identify the routes of certain disasters, such as storms, tornados, earthquakes, and tsunamis, will help you guide people on where to go. With rally points, you could manage the flow of people out of a dangerous place. These points may include pick-up points, where people can get a ride toward safety.
- Verifying A Safe Route
This centers on double-checking routes to see if they’re passable and safe to access. In many cases, uniformed personnel are stationed by rally points along these routes to observe proper flow and coordination. For the workplace or school, though the routes may be shorter, they still need to be identified.
- Checking Response Team Location
Apart from routes that lead to safety, emergency response plans should also state where the response teams are deployed. In the context of workplaces and institutions, the emergency response point person should have a station. Usually, these are the guard offices or nurse stations. For better communication and easier location, there should be a sign labelling these stations as emergency team points.
Whether it’s a drill or a real scenario, reviewing the situation is important to provide feedback and assessment of what happened. The feedback from participants, observers, and the response team itself could improve the emergency protocols.
7. It Helps Secure An Affected Area Immediately
Emergency response training provides people with the knowledge and skills to manage a disaster- or accident-stricken area. Using your learnings and even the plans taught in training, you can apply these to real-life situations.
This could be very helpful, especially in a community with limited resources and a small workforce for providing emergency response. The prompt cordoning of an affected area can help mitigate or slow down the damage, providing enough time for more responders to arrive at the scene.
8. It Allows You To Assist In Post-Disaster Recovery Efforts
An emergency response shouldn’t be limited to the time immediately after a disaster occurs, when issues have to be addressed right away. With the skills and knowledge you’ve picked up from an emergency response course, you can continue to provide services anchored on the things you learned, and help in the community’s post-disaster recovery efforts.
Prevention is always better than cure, and enrolling in a proven emergency response course can be seen as a form of prevention. If you’re planning to be part of a volunteer response team or something similar, you should know more about emergency management, which includes the proper response and training.
With the points listed in this article, you can see how important it is to be properly trained in emergency response and how you can use the knowledge from it to help other people. So, whether you’d like to be a full-fledged emergency responder or you want to help through volunteer work, an emergency response course can equip you with the skills and knowledge you need.