5 Top Disaster Response Careers

It is said that tragedy brings out the best in humanity. While the quote may reference the masses who frequently give their time, energy and money to help those in need after any given disaster, tragedy also brings out the very best of local emergency personnel. These men and women train hundreds of hours so they’re ready to assist neighbors in their greatest time of need. Many sacrifice their lives to save others; however, you don’t have to be on the front line to help disaster victims. Here are five career paths that allow you to help others without putting yourself at personal risk.

1. Social and Community Service Manager

These individuals work with area agencies and organizations to see that disaster victims are served and to also ensure services are not duplicated. A social and community service manager maintains records and updates training manuals to assist staff members and volunteers in the line of duty. They also evaluate the efficiency of programs and procedures.

2. Emergency Medical Services Coordinator

EMS coordinators direct emergency room personnel in the care of disaster victims and others who need emergency care. This individual hires staff, oversees the installation and maintenance of telecommunication equipment and emergency vehicles. Emergency medical service coordinators also maintain records and develop training programs for emergency rescue personnel and the community. Coordinators also prepare for the future and share reports with other emergency coordinators to develop area and statewide response plans.

3. Emergency Management Specialist

These specialists work with county, city, state or federal officials to analyze damage assessments and decide what manpower, equipment and technical support are necessary to clear the disaster scene and effectively tend to any victims. Specialists order evacuations of nearby structures and order public shelters to be put in place. When they’re not on scene, specialists often design and administer training courses for emergency personnel.

4. 911 Emergency Dispatcher

Emergency dispatchers are the key to a successful rescue during a disaster or after an accident. Dispatchers receive 911 calls or computer messages from the general public. They ask all necessary questions for law enforcement and emergency personnel responding to the scene. Emergency rescuers create a plan of action to rescue callers based on the information received by dispatchers.

5. Director of Risk Management, Environmental, Health and Safety

Risk management directors work for both public and private entities. They analyze potential risks for their employer and verify that their employer is in compliance with any city, state or federal guidelines. The duties of a risk management director vary depending on the nature of business. For instance, a medical facility needs a risk management director to deter potential issues with hazardous materials, biological safety, chemical safety and radiological safety. A risk management director is responsible for implementing safety polices and procedures to deter fiduciary loss and loss of life. Directors are often a liaison between parties in the event of litigation after a disaster.

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It takes a special kind of person to oversee the care of others before, during and after a disaster. The National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians says EMS workers treat 25-30 million patients per year. This is why the need for qualified disaster response workers will remain strong for years to come.