We’ve all been exposed to some form of emergency in our lives, some of us burn toast others will manage to set the house on fire. When running realistic training scenarios we tend to notice a common theme; People generally don’t expect to be the first on scene. We sat back initially and wondered why this was the case, “was it the bystander effect?”, “were people expecting the emergency services to do everything for them?”. Then it hit us, people genuinely haven’t been challenged yet to know what it all means. “Sure, we all ‘have to’ undergo training in emergency situations, we all ‘have to’ participate in some form of workplace evacuation every 6 months and sure, it will all work when it really needs to… right?”.
It’s this type of logic we are used to encountering when facing new clients and scarily, we find it to be the ‘norm‘. We’re not suggesting that this is anyones fault directly (in most cases) but we must learn better lessons and apply best training practices to sessions. After all, we know workplace emergency training is transferable, useful, practical and something we can all use out on the street and at home. Evidence shows us that when correct first response is used, better outcomes are achieved. One unfortunate by-product of horrific situations is the grief associated with knowing you had some form of training but at the moment it counted, you didn’t use it. This may come down to several factors but let’s focus on some imperative facts first to help you avoid this:
- Doing something is always better then doing nothing in emergency situations. If you forget complicated acronyms because you only learn them once a year, relax, breathe, call for help… Congratulations, you’re now a first responder. Often emergency services are delayed because help was never called for in the initial incident (<5min).
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Who likes emergencies? If someone tells you it’s exciting, they’re lying or egotistical. Zen yourself with the fact that the situation is not sexy, it’s awkward, violent and messy. Moving past this you can mechanically breakdown the best and most likely course’s of action to take, for example: Check for dangers, ask what happened to cause this, re-check dangers, call for help, get your resources ready and so on… Remember, if you didn’t intentionally cause this situation, who cares, just do something to make it better than it is. This logic helps you post incident as it’s ‘just the way it is‘ and you should be proud for stepping in and helping.
- People when asked often provide help in some form. It boils down to psychology, we often want to do something but because emergencies (as stated above) are messy and confronting our brans often take a moment to pause and re-consider if we can do anything at all. Remember, it’s ok to feel like this. What we’re looking for is some controlled breathing and a re-start of your factory senses to use as information for your next move. Understanding how you react in emergencies is a great tool for assisting others to help you – This is because you can understand how confronting it all is. Being clear and direct of what you want and need from by-standers is a great place to start. Remember ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ still go a long way and makes you a professional, there’s hardly a need to yell and professionals are often nurturing not prescriptive or bossy in most cases.
So how do we emulate the hard parts of tragedies to be useful? How do training providers ensure that under the law and rules of common sense the message is being delivered?
We make sure that when training students, clear and measurable outcomes are set from the start, war stories are kept’ed in-check and the training is not only realistic but tailored around the students needs. This inception (along with quality content, trainers, established metrics, gear, presence and more) goes a long way to provide more realism. When we deploy our engineered systems we do so knowing they are already attributed to saving lives and we take this mission deadly seriously. Staying in-touch to our student needs and that of wider society helps our team to stay focused and realistic to the message at hand. It’s this basic combination thats leads to better results.