Essay Sample on First Responders: Bravely Serving Humanity in Times of Crisis

Paper Type:  Creative writing
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1339 Words
Date:  2023-03-04


First responders are people who have accepted altruistic voluntary calls to be of service to humanity in times of crisis. First responders are individuals who often respond in times of emergency to provide the needed assistance to save lives. They may be police officers, firefighters, military health care workers, paramedics, among others. These individuals work in fields that bring them close to some of the most precarious situations faced by humanity in times of danger, whether it be a human-made disaster or otherwise. Their work, over time, has been to provide immediate assistance to victims affected by the events. Some of these events are dreadful indeed and cause slight and profound injuries and at times, claim life. First responders interact face to face with such events and even witnessing as life is lost through them. In most cases, many people have perceived that such individuals (first responders) are not affected by the scenes and hazardous scenes they find themselves. This school of thought is enhanced by the fact that first responders as a service, is seen to attract voluntary training decisions and training. Contrary to the perception that first responders are unaffected by their experiences, research has indicated that these servicemen and women are affected at a higher magnitude by what they go through in their daily routine. Besides the skills, they passed through during their proactive service time.

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Issues Faced by First Responders

First responders have been lauded as heroes and heroines due to their willingness to place themselves into dangerous situations. As a result of risky situations they face in their line of duty, they experience several issues such as burnout, depression, anxiety, injury, among many. Naturally, it is uncommon for individuals to experience a degree of distress in response to a traumatic event, even though these events are faced routinely (Haugen, Evces, & Weiss, 2012). A number of these first responders have been found to experience a mild degree of fear, insomnia, worry as well as sadness that at times last for a couple of days. At this level, it can be noted that such experiences are mild and interfere less with general function, and they subside without seeking treatment (Haugen, Evces & Weiss, 2012).

When such mild symptoms manifest and they are shed off faster, and the victim, in this case, the first responder recovers, the general perception of first responders is unaffected by these experiences is firmly held by the people, and they justify this perception (Haugen et al. 2012). However, when the symptoms, as mentioned earlier, last longer than expected and become severe, First Responders experiences post-trauma diseases, which include nightmares, intrusive memories concerning the event, flashbacks, fear, agitations, emotional numbness among many effects (Manoj & Baker, 2014). Researchers have shown that individuals who have experienced and become accomplishes in prior trauma have often developed post-trauma disorders compared to those who never have. It is for this reason that this paper refutes the perception generally held by many that first responders are unaffected by their experiences (Manoj & Baker, 2014). Evidently, such people who are beginning to hazardous scenes are twice likely to be exposed to trauma repeatedly as part of that work and are therefore greatly affected by what they go through.

Even though the situations faced by first responders of different professions may vary, research shows that post-traumatic stress disorders are notably a risk to all firs responders, although some cases may increase and accelerate an individual's risk for developing chronic issues related to life. Since stress poses a cumulative effect on individuals, veteran first responders are at higher risk of suffering due to previous experiences. First responder work often entails shift work (Manoj & Baker, 2014). Various researches has attested that long shifts, as well as shift structures requiring over time, leads to sleep deprivation or disruption and also cause other life-threatening impacts on interpersonal relationships and emotional health. Research has linked closely linked short temper and irritation to lack of adequate sleep, which is significantly experienced by first responders. Many times, the symptoms of such are attributed by resorting to excessive consumption of alcohol (Rantakokko et al. 2011). This ideally underscores the point that first responders are at higher risk of excessive alcohol consumption due to their experiences.

Some situations faced by these personnel dictate little control over their workload. In many instances, the first responders lack enough time to regroup after interacting with stressful scenarios that overwhelm them, putting them at a higher risk. In addition to overwhelming situations, witnessing major tragedies for instance the September 11, 2001 can impact damagingly on those who were at the scene as rescuers. The research estimated that about 20% of first responders who were present at the world trade center were diagnosed with myriads of symptoms of post-trauma stress disorders due to obscene experiences they were part of (Rantakokko et al., 2011).

Both the professional and personal life of a first responder is negatively affected by the impossible stresses they encounter. The first responder with post-trauma stress issues has difficulty in performing duties at work. Some of them avoid work due to experiences and memories of trauma they still remember (Sun & Wallis, 2012). Notably, the mental health of such individuals has remained a concern and currently attracting different research to unearth what they go through. If it could be that, first responders are unaffected by their experiences, and the subject would not attract such varied research as it is the case now.

In refuting the general perception about the first responder, research that interviewed the first responder underscored on a firsthand basis what one Mr. Dillon went though. Asked about what happened, Dillon, a Connecticut state trooper, remembered what happened on Dec 14, 2012, vividly (Sun & Wallis, 2012). This was a sad case at Sandy Hook Elementary school in a bizarre where 26 individuals were gunned down by a young man who unfortunately took his own life. His encounters were "big trays of pizza falling left, right and center" in a cafeteria. A 30-year volunteer emergency medical technician and firefighter recounted how he could not forget some scenes, for instance, seeing a plane crash with charred and burned bodies. Reminded of the scenes, Dillon would be plagued with hunger, sadness, and eventually withdrew from everyone (Sun & Wallis, 2012). This firsthand information justifies that the first responders do not get affected but sufferer from post-stress trauma disorders from past experiences.


Research across the hospitals in the United States reveals the truth about life effects first responders suffer. First responders interact face to face with such events and even witnessing as life is lost through them. In most cases, many people have perceived that such individuals are not affected by the scenes and hazardous scenes they find themselves but this is not the case. In the nation's hospitals, police stations, firehouses, and call centers, it is found that many first responders are struggling with effects brought by both tragedies they encountered and everyday deaths they faced on the job. However, it is believed those who perceived first responders to be unaffected, based their premise on finding that the first responders were "weak" and fear stigma that surrounds mental ill-health.


Haugen, P. T., Evces, M., & Weiss, D. S. (2012). Treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in First Responders: A systematic review. Clinical psychology review, 32(5), 370-380.

Manoj, B. S., & Baker, A. H. (2014). Communication Challenges in Emergency Response. Communications of the ACM, 50(3), 51-53.

Rantakokko, J., Rydell, J., Stromback, P., Handel, P., Callmer, J., Tornqvist, D., ... & Gruden, M. (2011). Accurate and Reliable Soldier and First Responder Indoor Positioning: Multisensory Systems and Cooperative Localization. IEEE Wireless Communications, 18(2), 10-18.

Sun, J. H., & Wallis, L. A. (2012). The Emergency First Aid Responder System Model: Using Community Members to Assist Life-Threatening Emergencies in Violent, Developing Areas of Need. Emerg Med J, 29(8), 673-678.

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Essay Sample on First Responders: Bravely Serving Humanity in Times of Crisis. (2023, Mar 04). Retrieved from

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