Online Program

Preparing Individuals to become Active Bystanders

Monday, November 2, 2015

Kathryn Roberts, Individual and Community Preparedness Division, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, DC
Robert Tosatto, RPh, MPH, MBA, Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, HHS/ASPR/Office of Emergency Management, Washington, DC
background: As natural and manmade disasters continue to impact our Nation with growing frequency, the role of individuals in reducing the impact of disasters has become increasingly evident. Often bystanders – people at the scene of an emergency who are not part of the formal emergency response system – play a critical role in the initial response to these disasters.

methods: Together the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), American Red Cross (ARC), American Heart Association (AHA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Preparedness and Response (OASPR) developed a training course, Becoming an Active Bystander, to empower and teach bystanders how to take safe and appropriate actions if and when they find themselves at the scene of an emergency situation.

outcomes: This four hour training course will provide participants with the ability to deliver basic initial care and other assistance to survivors prior to the arrival of emergency responders, offer support and comfort to individuals harmed by the emergency, and convey information and collaborate with professional first responders. In the spring of 2014 the Becoming an Active Bystander training course was pilot tested by seven Medical Reserve Corps in Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee. Feedback was provided to help improve the content and focus for these types of trainings in the future.  

conclusions: This valuable training course is now available to teach non-medical volunteers and community members how to provide basic initial care to survivors in the immediate.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the research that supports the inclusion of bystanders in the chain of emergency medical care. Describe and explain registration steps for the Becoming an Active Bystander training course.

Keyword(s): Emergency Preparedness, Self-sufficiency and Empowerment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I direct the MRC program, and provided leadership and oversight for the pilot test of the Active Bystander training.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3302.0: Disaster Preparedness