Emergency Management Week
Emergency Management Survey Results – Part 3
Canadian Security recent conducted an Emergency Management Survey, sponsored by Calian. Respondents answered three questions pertaining to the roles of emergency managers and security leaders. You can find the answers to Question 1 and more information about the survey-takers here and the answers to Question 2 here.
Question 3: What is the greatest obstacle facing emergency workers, front line workers and first responders today?
Maintaining up-to-date and effective training – 31.39%
Potential for PTSD or stress-related illness – 13.87%
Funding, equipment and crisis management tools – 42.34%
Health-related issue caused by exposure to disease, hazardous material, etc. – 12.41%
I believe that point one is well covered in most EM environments. Points two and four I consider as threats to the worker, not “obstacles”. Therefore, since funding, equipment, etc. are often budgetary issues in many organizations, I would consider it to be the greatest obstacle.
In addition to maintaining up-to-date and effective training, there is a need to maintain an up-to-date knowledge on risks, hazards, and concerns that could affect response to an emergency incident.
You can maintain education and training through a variety of means, but having the funding and proper equipment and crisis management tools are need to initiate the education.
In private industry it is difficult to compel funding for equipment and crisis management tools in that the risk is not necessarily appreciated (depending on what you are securing against) and there is often no visible return on the investment until a major incident. Then what is seen is primarily the short fall.
Too many organizations still feel that having developed emergency plans is sufficient, and in many cases both training as well as resources (funding, equipment, and other tools) are all-too-frequently neglected.
Equipment and tools are not the issue – accurate appreciation of risks and funding are. Despite widespread public awareness of threats, governments and private organizations are still very reactive. It is difficult to obtain resources to prepare for or mitigate low-probability, high-impact risks. Time and again, we hear that security officials tried to warn persons of authority before some calamitous event (e.g., Sony hack, Libyan Debacle) – but the warnings fell on deaf ears because other priorities were deemed higher.
It’s the old adage “use it or lose it”. Training is paramount to success.
During any emergency or threat event there is always the potential of PTSD and its affects on first responders [Including and lets not forget Security Personnel] – that may come on several hours, days or weeks after any event. Employers should be cognizant and aware of the signs so that first responders can receive assistance and treatment.
It is often hard to convince anyone that any danger exists that they only see or hear about in other countries or cities. Plan A, B, C and or D are the ONLY way to be fluid and prepared for any emergencies.
As always, proper funding could help reduce the other obstacles as long as it is spent properly.