Emergency preparedness and role clarity among rescue workers during the terror attacks in Norway July 22, 2011


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Public Library of Science

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Background Few studies address preparedness and role clarity in rescue workers after a disaster. On July 22, 2011, Norway was struck by two terror attacks; 77 people were killed and many injured. Healthcare providers, police officers and firefighters worked under demanding conditions. The aims of this study were to examine the level of preparedness, exposure and role clarity. In addition, the relationship between demographic variables, preparedness and exposure and a) role clarity during the rescue operations and; b) achieved mastering for future disaster operations. Methods In this cross-sectional study, healthcare providers (n = 859), police officers (n = 252) and firefighters (n = 102) returned a questionnaire approximately 10 months after the terror attacks. Results The rescue personnel were trained and experienced, and the majority knew their professional role (healthcare providers M = 4.1 vs. police officers: M = 3.9 vs. firefighters: M = 4.2, p < .001, [scale 1–5]). The police officers reported significantly more lack of control (p < .001). In the multivariable analysis, being female (OR 1.4, p < .05), having more years of work experience (OR 2.3, p = < .001), previous training (OR 1.6, p < .05) and the experience of an event with > 5 fatalities (OR 1.6, p < .05) were all associated with role clarity, together with a feeling of control, not being obstructed in work and perceiving the rescue work as a success. Moreover, independent predictors of being more prepared for future operations were arousal during the operation (OR 2.0, p < .001) and perceiving the rescue work as a success (OR 1.5, p < .001). Conclusion Most of the rescue workers were experienced and knew their professional role. Training and everyday-work-experience must be a focal point when preparing rescue workers for disaster.




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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/4974