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How 9/11 Events Changed First Responder Roles and Responsibilities

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Effects of a disaster are exacerbated by unpreparedness of the country. It is always advisable to embark of a culture of learning from the past and adopting the challenges for the purpose of evading similar repercussions. America has witnessed and suffered several disasters, which have taken the emergency team at a surprise, prompting for further enhancement of disaster preparedness plans. Of these disasters, the August 9, 2011 terrorism attack proofed to be a key roundup for the First Responder roles and responsibilities (Cigler 2009).

First Responder is a term used to refer to trained individuals on matters of immediate actions, in cases of a disaster. According to Perrow, First Responders have been equipped both skillfully and legally to dispatch their duties in saving lives (2010). During instances of disasters, they team arrives dressed in protective clothing that minimizes risking these individuals to chemical, radiological and physical exposures. The events of 9/11, which was less anticipated or poorly planned, in terms of rescue, left a nearly 72 First Respondent ill of the chemical exposure at the point of the disaster.

Cigler points out that one of the areas where the roles and responsibilities of the First Responders has been improved is the fact that other than preparing for “if” disaster scenarios, they now prepare for “when” disaster situations (2009). The emergency team is crucial in incorporating, and improving coordination during evacuation process. First Responders have been bestowed with role of reporting the disaster to the necessary authorities with urgency and fast gathered information. Furthermore, during rescuing process they play the role of liaison among the response teams. This avoids confusion and enhances communication due to streamline flow of command.

With the improved emergency precautions being instituted day in day out, the First Responder should take the responsibility of maintaining professionalism, seek to upgrade their skills, take charge of understanding fully the available Emergency Medical Services equipment and also remain updated with the emergency and rescue issues in their jurisdictions (Fagel 2010).

In conclusion, the role and responsibility changes observed in First Responder docket have been geared towards reducing casualties, enhance immediate evacuation, promote urgent attendance to victims, and properly organized emergency rescue plan. 

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