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.
- Competency-based education
- Disaster medicine
- Health personnel education/training
- Public health/emergency preparedness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health