Emergency response is action taken in response to an unexpected, and often dangerous situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property, or environment and requires immediate action. It is putting your preparedness plans into action. It involves activation of your emergency management plan, this includes actions taken to save lives and prevent further property damage in an emergency situation. Emergency response aims at serving lives, protecting properties/environment and stabilizing the incident; but the matter of top priority is SAVING LIVES.
Some emergency situation that could warrant triggering the emergency response are: Biological, chemical or radiation spill; hydrogen/compressed gas alarm; confirmed fire/explosion; bomb threat; escalated violence; building structural damage/collapse; gas leak; natural disaster, etc.
We can also say that emergency response is a prompt response taken during any emergency situation. A timely response can make a difference between life and death; between massive destruction and mild effect; between timely recovery and long-term damage.
Components of emergency response
Emergency response is borne out of diligent preparation. Emergency response is one of the elements of the emergency management plan which requires painstaking risk assessment, risk analysis and risk management strategy.
Hence, emergency response is just about working your emergency management plan.
Some of the emergency response includes:
- Call to emergency service providers: Emergency service providers who were part of the emergency plan may be required at this point, like the fire service, road safety, police, etc.
- Engaging first aiders for first aid and CPR: The first aiders can help injured people by giving them first aid and CPR. This can help save a lot of lives, prevent cases worsening, and also enhance recovery.
- Integration of fire fighters into the scene: Fire fighters, fire watch and other category of people assigned for different task during emergency will be called to action at this point. In cases of fire, the fire fighters may attack it with fire extinguishers or hose reels when the fire is still in the infant level.
- Emergency evacuation: In some cases, the premises may need to be evacuated immediately.
- Sheltering, like in cases of natural disaster like tornado
- Emergency lockdown when there is an act of violence this may be the only alternative, etc.
Note that, a successful emergency response is a product of a good emergency management plan. If you want your response to be successful, aim toward drawing out an appropriate emergency management plan.