Ranking the Attributes of Effective Disaster Responders and Leaders

Richard V King, Gregory Luke Larkin, Kelly R. Klein, Raymond L. Fowler, Dana L. Downs, Carol S. North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


TObjective 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-703
Number of pages4
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • competency-based education
  • consensus
  • disaster medicine
  • health personnel education/training
  • public health/emergency preparedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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