Saturday, November 13, 2010

Attitudes for Survival - The Rescue Response

In a typical disaster, there are usually three types of people that are present. There are those that have already become victims or soon will be; those that have survived and those that will be the rescuers. The rescue response is an important manner in which to handle a disaster that will increase your chances and the chances of others to survive.

In my work supervising emergency drills, there seems to be a great deal of difference in how people handle and respond to emergencies. These range from outright denial of the situation to an almost hysterical level of panic. There are also those who exhibit the rescue response.

Rather than becoming a victim and creating a bigger problem than is already present, they readily step up to the plate and start swinging like they intend on hitting a home run. They immediately go into a “rescue response” mode that changes their role from victim to rescuer. This changes their status drastically and with surprising results. Their attention becomes more focused as they give help and instructions to others that may be present. It also lends purpose to their actions and helps organize their thoughts with a known result. They know that their actions will ultimately help someone else survive.

While some victims of a disaster will struggle to survive until help arrives, it seems that those who immediately seek to give assistance to others may be increasing their own rate of survival as well. Feelings of anxiety, depression and panic have no place in a situation where your survival is at stake. Feeling good about yourself or your actions can help you combat these feelings of depression or panic. Having a goal of helping others can help focus your physical and mental efforts and give a greater purpose to your actions. Helping others always has a tendency to make a person feel better about themselves and their situation.

When you learn to become a rescuer and not a victim, you will unknowingly have created a purpose and a focus for your efforts that will increase your chances for survival.

Got rescue response?

Staying above the water line!



Ken said...

...very thought provoking,good post RW...opposite end of the spectrum,to fight the urge to help victims/others,in order to secure the safety of me/mine...then assist of course,only after,my wife and offspring are secure...
...if i'm runnin'solo,knowing me,i'd probably run headlong into the ruckus...

riverwalker said...

To: Ken

Even helping your own family members can get you focused and help you make it through a crisis.

Thanks Ken.


chinasyndrome said...

Good info RW!


riverwalker said...

To: chinasyndrome

It would seem that the "take charge" kind of person will always control their own destiny and eventually will be a survivor as a result.

It would also seem that from the development of just such an attitude if they were to find themselves in a solitary survival situation they would be more self-reliant in such a case also.

Thanks c/s.


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