Social Resilience of Emergency Responders
While the results of the quantitative study are still pending, the qualitative, semi-structured interviews with over 25 experts as well as professional and voluntary fire and rescue, police, and ambulance services were interpreted (using a qualitative content analysis; Mayring 2010) and showed that social support within the organization, a person’s social network and former experiences are useful resources. Emotional support from within the organization seems to be one the most valuable resources and several emergency responders reported that they avoid sharing negative emotions with their families – unless their families are part of the aid organization as well. Moreover, many organizations offer either informal or formal preventive programs or follow-up care. Access and acceptance of such programs vary greatly.
The data serve as a starting point for the improvement or development of education and training tools for emergency responders. Furthermore, we want to propose guidelines for the development of more resilient emergency management policies.