As we accelerate into a digital-first future, there are some jobs that can never be replaced. Emergencies happen all the time and the first responders are crucial players in controlling the damage and saving lives. Ambulance workers, firefighters, police officers; all these workers are needed in extraordinary times. And they are people, the same as the ones they’re saving. So who is helping them?
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou.
One of the primary tasks of all emergency services is to ‘serve their communities’. But what does that mean and how do we know when we are doing it well?
*”Stridsvärde” is our capacity to perform a specific task. It includes both physical and psychological abilities. It is dynamic and changes depending on recovery, preparation, experience and expectations.
Keeping track of the current stridsvärde helps us not just to realize when we are likely to succeed (high stridsvärde) or risk putting too much pressure on personnel (low stridsvärde).
You may know emergency dispatchers as the people at the end of an emergency call that helps people through some of the worst moments in life. But behind calm voices are stressed out individuals, with Chron mentioning that they typically have 8- or 12-hour shifts, with some shifts lasting as long as 24 hours. Emergency dispatchers are also usually required to work on weekends and holidays. That means, being a dispatcher is mentally and emotionally taxing, requiring sustained attentiveness, waiting for calls to come through and acting as an intermediary between a caller and rescue workers.
When a disaster strikes, it is important for society to be able to resist, adapt, transform, and recover from the hazard in an efficient and quick manner. But how can we build societal resilience for a safer world?
Marta Azevedo Silva, our Communication & Press Manager, had a conversation with Rut Erdelyi, European Director of The Resilience Advisors Network to talk about embracing change, building capacity and innovative ideas to address threats and understand how we can strengthen community resilience in disasters and emergencies.
We are aware of the importance of accessible emergency services and the legislative requirements placed on EU countries, but how are countries ensuring that these are put into practice? We hear the perspective of Kaili Tamm, advisor on 112 at the Estonian Ministry of Interior.
There are around one billion persons¹ with some form of disability in the world and over 100 million² live in Europe. Disability affects a high proportion of the population but are emergency services accessible to all? How can they ensure that all people can get help when they need it?
Recently, I was speaking to a colleague who reluctantly shared they were seeing a counsellor to deal with some issues. This long-tenured industry professional was struggling with being viewed differently. I applauded the courage the individual was showing and the leadership that was being demonstrated by the very act of seeking help.
Behind every rescue operation, there is a team of dedicated individuals. Each one is a vital link in the emergency response chain. What drives these professionals to go the extra mile to keep people safe? Our Knowledge Officer, Rose Michael, caught up with Italian firefighter Federico Brizio to talk about working in the emergency call centre: the challenges faced, how they are overcome, and the rewarding experiences.