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Ranking the Attributes of Effective Disaster Responders and Leaders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2019

Richard V. King*
Affiliation:
Department of Health Care Sciences, Southwestern School of Health Professions, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Gregory Luke Larkin
Affiliation:
Brothers Keepers International Outreach, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Kelly R. Klein
Affiliation:
Division of Emergency and Disaster Global Health, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Raymond L. Fowler
Affiliation:
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Dana L. Downs
Affiliation:
St. Louis Health, Hope and Healing Initiative, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri
Carol S. North
Affiliation:
The Altshuler Center for Education & Research at Metrocare Services, Dallas, Texas Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
*
Correspondence and reprint requests to Richard V. King, Department of Health Care Sciences, Southwestern School of Health Professions, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390 (e-mail: richardvking@ymail.com).

Abstract

Objective

To investigate the relative importance of 10 attributes identified in prior studies as essential for effective disaster medical responders and leaders.

Methods

Emergency and disaster medical response personnel (N=220) ranked 10 categories of disaster worker attributes in order of their importance in contributing to the effectiveness of disaster responders and leaders.

Results

Attributes of disaster medical leaders and responders were rank ordered, and the rankings differed for leaders and responders. For leaders, problem-solving/decision-making and communication skills were the highest ranked, whereas teamwork/interpersonal skills and calm/cool were the highest ranked for responders.

Conclusions

The 10 previously identified attributes of effective disaster medical responders and leaders include personal characteristics and general skills in addition to knowledge of incident command and disaster medicine. The differences in rank orders of attributes for leaders and responders suggest that when applying these attributes in personnel recruitment, selection, and training, the proper emphasis and priority given to each attribute may vary by role. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:700–703)

Type
Brief Report
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 

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References

Spencer, LM, Spencer, SM. Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1993.Google Scholar
King, RV, North, CS, Larkin, GL, et al. Attributes of effective disaster responders: focus group discussions with key emergency response leaders. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2010;4(4):332-338.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
King, RV, Larkin, GL, Fowler, RL, et al. Characteristics of effective disaster responders and leaders: a survey of disaster medical practitioners. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2016;10:720-723.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Subbarao, I, Lyznicki, JM, Hsu, EB, et al. A consensus-based educational framework and competency set for the discipline of disaster medicine and public health preparedness. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2008;2(1):57-68.10.1097/DMP.0b013e31816564afCrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Walsh, L, Altman, B, Strauss-Riggs, K, et al. Enhancing the translation of disaster health competencies into practice. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2014;8(1):70-78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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The EMS State of the Sciences Conference: A Gathering of Eagles VIII. http://gatheringofeagles.us/. Accessed September 3, 2018.Google Scholar
World Congress on Diaster and Emergency Medicine, 2009. https://wadem.org/congress/congress-overview. Accessed September 3, 2018.Google Scholar
American Academy of Emergency Medicine Caribbean Emergency Medicine Congress, 2009. https://www.aaem.org/UserFiles/file/MarAprCS09_cemc.pdf. Accessed September 3, 2018.Google Scholar
Integrated Medical, Public Health, Preparedness and Response Training Summit, 2009. http://www.integratedtrainingsummit.org. Accessed September 3, 2018.Google Scholar
Larkin, GL, Arnold, J. Ethical considerations in emergency planning, preparedness, and response to acts of terrorism. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2003;18(3):170-178.10.1017/S1049023X00001011CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
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