Responding to Emergencies: Learning to Become a First Responder
A first responder can be the difference in saving and losing a life. Basically, they are anyone who may arrive on the scene of an emergency first. In this article, we will explore in more detail just what a first responder is. We will look at how you can learn this important safety skill. Lastly, we will give you some suggested reading where you can learn more. If you are considering a career path where you might have to respond to emergencies quickly, you cannot afford to forgo this training.
What is a First Responder?
As mentioned above, a first responder is anyone who might arrive on en emergency scene first. They are trained in more than just basic first aid. Normally, these are people who will arrive even before EMS. However, they do not know as much about emergency care as an EMS worker will. This sort of training is highly recommended (and even sometimes required) for police and firefighters in the US. People from many other walks of life, such as security guards and Park Rangers, may also be trained as first responders.
Learning to Become a First Responder
Learning to become a first responder takes some time. Training can be different depending upon your location. The minimum amount of training is forty hours, and the maximum amount is sixty hours. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) manual is the standard for training. A few of the most popular books that cover this National Standard Curriculum are mentioned, below. Classes may be given by the American Red Cross or other organizations. During this training, you can expect to learn techniques like CPR, using a defibrillator, or even perhaps delivering a child. Some courses may teach first responders other techniques.
First Responder by J. David Bergeron and Gloria Bizjak is the most popular text on the market. It is published by Brady Prentice Hall. Another great book to read is published my Mosby’s and entitled Emergency First Responder: Making the Difference. This book was written by Will Chapleau, EMT-P, RNS, and TNS. Both of these books are readily available online. There may be other texts, as well, that you may find helpful on the market. Be sure to ask the instructor of your course for their recommendations, as well. For most first responder trainees, one of these books is perfectly adequate.