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Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2010 Dec;4(4):332-8. doi: 10.1001/dmphp.D-09-00059R1. Epub 2010 Jul 6.

Attributes of effective disaster responders: focus group discussions with key emergency response leaders.

Author information

  • 1University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, 75390, USA. richard.king@utsouthwestern.edu

Abstract

METHODS:

An effective disaster response requires competent responders and leaders. The purpose of this study was to ask experts to identify attributes that distinguish effective from ineffective responders and leaders in a disaster. In this qualitative study, focus groups were held with jurisdictional medical directors for the 9-1-1 emergency medical services systems of the majority of the nation's largest cities. These sessions were recorded with audio equipment and later transcribed.

RESULTS:

The researchers identified themes within the transcriptions, created categories, and coded passages into these categories. Overall interrater reliability was excellent (κ = .8). The focus group transcripts yielded 138 codable passages. Ten categories were developed from analysis of the content: Incident Command System/Disaster Training/Experience, General Training/Experience, Teamwork/Interpersonal, Communication, Cognition, Problem Solving/Decision Making, Adaptable/Flexible, Calm/Cool, Character, and Performs Role. The contents of these categories included knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors, and personal characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS:

Experts in focus groups identified a variety of competencies for disaster responders and leaders. These competencies will require validation through further research that involves input from the disaster response community at large.

PMID:
21149236
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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