International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Students as First Responders: Training Tomorrow’s citizens



Both in “disaster medicine” focused upon bioterrorism and natural events (accidents, earthquakes, etc.) much attention has been given to the importance of “first responders.” These are assumed to be trained professionals—doctors, nurses, or paramedics—dispatched to the scene to assess and then provide care prior to hospital transport. But in many cases, if not most, the true “first responder” is a citizen with or without first aid training. In both mundane cases—a cardiac event, choking, drowning, or a fall—they may with little training provide life-saving or prolonging assistance. In true mass casualty events, their role may be more critical.  And yet, our colleges, high schools, and universities provide little training or guidance for the potential “citizen responder.” That, this article urges, can and should be changed.