Emergency responders, as defined by police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel, are often exposed to potential hazards within their work, due to the very nature of their work. Many of these people are heroes in that they willingly sacrifice their lives for the altruistic benefit of others. The potential for occupational injury, be it physical or mental, is quite real and significant, any members of the first responder community are exposed to threats to their safety on a regular basis. It is critical that the safety and health of the emergency personnel which serve us is safeguarded.
[...] For first responders on the front line of an emergency situation, PPE may very well be the main barrier of defense against potential exposure to infectious disease, radiological contamination, or exposure to hazardous chemicals. One source of injury and/or fatality present within all the categories of emergency responders was vehicle accidents, which accounted for a large amount of injuries and fatalities across all emergency first responders. This fact may suggest that better, and more extensive, emergency driving training is needed for our first responders. [...]
[...] As such, we would expect a significant amount of occupational injury and fatality within this class of first responders, and much research exists to support a diverse array of alleged occupational health hazards associated with being a firefighter. Many factors exist which contribute to these hazards our firefighter face, from building material being combusted (such as asbestos, for example), to even acrobatic-like high rise maneuvers risked in efforts to save lives. With respect to common types of injury, the most significant rates, on account of firefighters within the U.S., can be attributed to traumatic injury resulting from falling from a significant height, being struck with an object in the scene of a fire, burns (obviously), and cardiac/respiratory malfunction (Houser, 2004). [...]
[...] Police Officers As stated previously, officers of the law within the U.S carry the burden of the highest prevalence of occupational injury and fatality across all other categories of emergency first responders (Hill, 1988; Houser, 2004). According to a technical report and executive summary prepared for the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory by RAND Science and Technology, a large amount of data exists with respect to causes of fatality of police officers, but a lesser amount of data is available on actual injuries suffered, or what the activity of the officer was at the time of injury (Houser, 2004). [...]
[...] Health Hazards of “Street Level” Bureaucracy: Mortality Among the Police. Journal of Police Science and Administration, 243-248. Houser, ARI N., Jackson, Brian A., et al. (2004). Emergency Responder Injuries and Fatalities: An Analysis of Surveillance Data. RAND Science and Technology. Technical report prepared for the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory. Jernier, John M., Gaines, Jeanie, et al., (1987). Reactions to Physically Dangerous Work: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis. Journal of Organizational Behavior,10(1): 15-33. Leskin, Gregory A., Morland, Leslie (2003). Fact Sheet: Fostering Resilience in Response to [...]
[...] Influence of Air-Purifying Respirators on the Simulated First Response Emergency Treatment of CBRN Victims. Resuscitation, 74; 310-316. Burns, Karyl J., Robinson, Kenneth, et al., (2006). Evaluation of Responses of an Air Medical Helicopter Program During a Comprehensive Emergency Response Drill. Air Medical Journal, 139-143. Carlier, Ingrid V.E., Lamberts, Regina D., et al.(1997). Risk Factors for Post-Traumatic Stress Symptomatology in Police Officers: A Prospective Analysis. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 185(8); 498-506. Gold, Avram, Burgess, W. A. (1978). Exposure of Firefighters to Toxic Air Contaminants. [...]
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