Dealing with Stress in the Emergency Services....

This is the Conclusion from the First Report written by Andrew Beal, 2003. The Tiltle is Dealing with Stress in the Emergency First Responders Part One.

It is well worth a read;


In the modern working environment all EFR organisations are plagued by management solutions and reforms, as is most of the public sector. Effective control of all EFR organisations must take into account, but not necessarily mirror the latest management fads and they must apply government led reforms wisely. Management practises and reforms that fit neatly in industry are not so comfortable when applied to the emergency services. This is apparent when it comes to trying to quantify the services 'effectiveness' in the community. It is hard to quantify the deterrent effect of the police, the reduced levels of fire damage as a result of the timely intervention of the fire-fighters or, the shortening of patient recovery time as a result of initial application of medical skills by competent and contented medics. Sadly much of the recent reform programmes have, as a by-product, general workplace 'Stress'; poorly managed this can wreak havoc in EFR organisations. This workplace stress must also clearly be separated from incidences of PTSD; greater stress is generated in the EFR workplace by poor management practices and attitudes than the horrific nature of the job.

There is clear evidence across many disciplines that negative-stress will materially affect the provision of service at point of delivery therefore, if EFR organisations wish to improve their quality of service they must reduce stress; whatever its source. To achieve this a package that draws heavily upon Total Quality Management (TQM) tools and methods should be employed simply because application of TQM will be beneficial to EFR in all facets of the organisation (Southworthy & Judd, 1997; Eastham & Walz, 1992; Arbuthnot, 1995:15).

Employing a system of work and a culture of acceptance then maybe the key to relieving some of the problems of stress in EFR organisations. In the next article we will look at just such a management approach.

The full report can be found at

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