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Considering a Career as a First Responder? Here’s What You Need to Know

first responder

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First responders refer to the first people on the scene of emergencies. Given the variety of potential emergencies they can encounter, a first responder’s responsibilities can include giving first-aid, managing the public, or keeping control of a situation prior to other personnel arriving. The high-pressure nature of the circumstances they work under means first responding is often an extremely fast-paced and sometimes stressful job. It is therefore important to know the details of what being a first responder involves prior to choosing it as a career path. Here are a few initial things to consider when thinking about a job in first response.

Qualifications

While first responders have their own set of required certifications that you must acquire before you are able to perform the job, in most instances, you will also need some experience of public safety prior to this. The term first response in fact originally stems specifically from a title used for people working in emergency medical treatment (EMT). Today’s first-responders can refer to specialised individuals in a variety of professions, however. First responders can thus come from multiple different public safety backgrounds, including law enforcement, fire-fighting, healthcare, and other government services.

First responders refer to the first people on the scene of emergencies. Given the variety of potential emergencies they can encounter, a first responder’s responsibilities can include giving first-aid, managing the public, or keeping control of a situation.Click To Tweet

Depending on what aspect of first-response most interests you, you will therefore need to be qualified in at least one of these areas, whether it be through attending a police academy, or getting training as a paramedic. Alternately, in some towns and cities, you may be able to volunteer as a first-responder. This will give you some rudimentary training, and also help you decide whether or not to pursue it as a career.

Healthcare

Health Risks

While working as a first-responder can certainly be highly rewarding, it would be untrue to suggest that there are no risks attached to it. Emergency situations can be unpredictable (as well as the public!), so it’s likely that as a first-responder you will be put in some dangerous scenarios. If you have not yet trained in something like law enforcement or paramedicine, doing so should therefore give you a fairly decent idea of whether the career is right for you.

Beyond the potential risks associated with emergency situations, first-responding is an active job that requires being on your feet for long periods of time. You should therefore be aware of the health risks which come with this. Moving constantly without adequate support and protection can quickly damage your feet, and in time this can even cause more serious issues, such as back pain. Investing in a pair of BOA boots is therefore a must for any prospective first-responder.

The Importance of Response Time

One of the key ways the public judges the handling of an emergency is how quickly government services respond to the situation. In the worst-case scenarios, a quick response time can be the difference between life and death, too. If you are considering a career as a first-responder, you must consequently be capable of making decisions quickly and assuredly in high-pressure situations. While acting quickly is important, it is also crucial you can keep a cool head and do not rush procedure. This is because acting rashly can increase the likelihood that mistakes are made.

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