When an emergency responder is about to make a mistake or ignore protocol due to frustration, other fellow responders have a legal and ethical duty to intervene. By stepping up before harm is done, they can protect the lives and careers of peer responders and the reputation of their agency. Similarly, when someone sees a fellow emergency responder who is showing the strain of this stressful work, skillful intervention can prevent the person from a dangerous road that can lead to severe emotional and physical harm, up to and including suicide.
Fire and rescue teams are heroic and essential members of their communities. Heroes recognizes the courage and loyalty shown by these first responders, and seeks to make sure that their courage is not merely physical, but moral and ethical as well.
Fire and Rescue workers, volunteers and leaders in emergency response face serious, acute and chronic stressors. These stressors affect their performance and their personal wellness. Stressors, whether acute, chronic, or both cause a variety of bad outcomes, including mistakes, misconduct, unhealthy coping behaviors and suicide. Heroes expertise and experience with fire and rescue culture uniquely situates our program to build on your existing wellness resources and elevate the proactive approach needed for responder wellness through the power of active bystandership.
Emergency Responder Safety
Fire & Rescue teams without active bystandership are at increased risk for tragedy, including the safety and integrity of officers, technicians, medics, volunteers, leadership, and staff. Safety of staff is paramount in emergency response culture. Yet, the continued realities of workplace injury, hazardous material responses, exposure to infectious disease, as well as the risk of misconduct are all direct threats to everyone. The vast majority of tragic incidents in fire and rescue were observed by bystanders, including fellow emergency responders. Had they been trained to intervene, it is likely that the tragedy would never have occurred. Active bystandership is a skill that can be learned. Heroes has the expertise, training, and implementation support proven to be well received by police departments all over the country, and is now redesigned specifically for fire and rescue teams.
Heroes acknowledges the important role fire and rescue teams play in their community. The critical role of life saving emergency response is still valued and honored as courageous work. Disruption in the trust of emergency responders is a direct threat to the efficacy of your work and Heroes aims to support community trust by way of peer intervention training. Emergency responders are part of their community and active bystandership expects that these individuals return home safely to their families. When every member of the team is able and willing to intervene skillfully, harms are prevented, thereby allowing every team member to return home safely at the end of every shift. Active bystandership plays a key role in reducing mistakes and preventing misconduct that disrupts the required safety for all emergency responders as well as their families and communities.