First responders have jobs unlike any other, facing unique challenges both on- and off-duty. For many, this can result in traumatic stress and depression, but there are strategies at both the individual and organizational levels that can help to combat these issues.
Active Listening, Other Communications Skills May Help Responders Deal with “Difficult” Members of the Public
Law enforcement, firefighting, emergency medicine, and corrections are fields often marked by interactions with “difficult” people. Whether their bad behaviors come as the result of a personality disorder or simply a bad day, communications techniques like active listening and de-escalation may be what responders need to provide adequate service — and avoid unpleasant outcomes, such as unnecessary use of force.
The positive outcomes of decades-long programs to train inmates in fire and EMS suggest education can be an effective method of significantly reducing recidivism.
Police have long struggled with effective ways to tailor standard training, skills, and protocol to mental health situations. And though no one individual solution for such a varied problem exists, specialized training—applied, at times, with alterations to department culture—is one way to ensure public safety officers are more prepared to respond to incidents in which mental health plays a role.
First Responders, as a group, have a unique relationship with technology. The ability to apply technology to fitness, training activities, and established procedures in the first responder field allows for the integration of many technological developments into every day practices. Much of the current excitement around wearable technology in fields like firefighting, emergency medical services, and law enforcement draws from this patience and past success. With enough time to iron out the technical, financial, and bureaucratic details surrounding them, off-the-shelf wearable gadgets and purpose-built tools—along with the software that runs on them—have a chance to realize their full potential.
For some first responders, readiness means that everyone has completed all applicable training and certifications. For others, readiness is a team that is fully equipped with the tools and resources needed to fulfill their duties. From initial response to large scale incident management, the estimable readiness of personnel and equipment is always at the forefront of the commander’s mind.
As technology continues to grow by leaps and bounds, it is absolutely imperative for our 911 systems to do the same. Next Generation 911 technology will be a significant advance compared to currently used technology.
Envisage Launches Premium Services Option to FirstForward® Training Network in the Form of FirstForward PRO
Envisage Technologies, creators of FirstForward®—the training network built exclusively for first responders—announced today that they have begun offering a premium service to the existing FirstForward framework.
First responders, the media, and the public all share a common public safety mission. Nonetheless, there are constant tensions between these groups that prevent them from working together effectively. Thankfully, social psychology can not only identify why this happens, but what you and your agency can do to rectify it.
As communities become increasingly diverse, enhancing cultural competency amongst first responders can help to improve interactions between these responders and those they serve.