Emergency Medical Response To 9/11

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Emergency Medical Response to 9/11

Emergency Medical Response to 9/11


A certified first responder is an individual who has finished forty to sixty hours of training in providing prehospital care for clinical emergencies. They have more skill than somebody who is skilled in fundamental first aid but they are not emergency medical technicians. The term "certified first responder" is not to be puzzled with "first responder", which is a wide-ranging term referring the first medically trained responder to appear on scene (police, fire, EMS). In several cases, or states, you are measured to be an EMS (Emergency Medical Services) if you have the qualifications. (Adams, J. & Marquette, S. 2004)


The Psychological Problems of First Responders in a Terrorism Catastrophe

Adams, J. & Marquette, S. 2004 among others have looked extensively at the following -- Henry at police trauma and "survival psychology" confrontations with one's own mortality (Henry in fact postulates five "themes" of adaptation - psychic numbing, death guilt, the death imprint, suspicion of counterfeit nurturance, and the struggle to make meaning). Regehr & Bober looked at whether Stress theory, Organizational theory, Crisis theory, or Trauma theory best predict traumatic response. Roberts looked at whether the 7-stage crisis intervention model, the ACT-Assessment model, the Trauma Treatment model, or a Multi-Component Critical Incident Stress Management model works with sudden and unpredictable terrorist attacks. Ursano's group looked primarily at firefighter/rescue worker trauma, but their ideas are probably generic enough to apply to all kinds of first responders. (Adams, J. & Marquette, S. 2004)

A fact sheet by the National Center for PTSD mentions some of the unique stressors faced in common by rescue workers, police, firefighters, National Guard members, emergency medical technicians, and volunteers. Besides facing the danger of death or physical injury and the potential loss of coworkers and friends, first responders also fall victim to the devastating social effects of a terrorist catastrophe on their sense of community and society. This places them at risk for behavioral and emotional readjustment problems. Rescue workers who directly experience or witness any of the following during or after the disaster are at greatest risk for lasting readjustment problems: (Adams, J. & Marquette, and S. 2004)

Life threatening danger or physical harm (especially to children)

Exposure to gruesome death, bodily injury, or dead or maimed bodies

Extreme environmental or human violence or destruction

Loss of home, valued possessions, neighborhood, or community

Loss of communication with or support from close relatives, friends, or acquaintances

Intense emotional demands (such as searching for survivors or interacting with bereaved family members)

Extreme fatigue, weather exposure, hunger, or sleep deprivation

Extended exposure to danger, loss, emotional/physical strain

Exposure to toxic contamination (such as gas or fumes, chemicals, radioactivity) (Adams, J. & Marquette, S. 2004) First responders, such as firefighters, police, paramedics, rescue workers, and medical personnel face the rather unusual problem of "anticipation stress" or in common parlance, the "hurry up and wait" syndrome. Extended waiting time, before being deployed to a disaster site, can be quite stressful, especially among those who have never experienced deployment to ...
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