In a perfect world, all public safety personnel would receive extensive disaster training with full support (e.g. pay) from the agencies they serve under; but then again, in a perfect world, disasters would never happen, and this conversation would be pointless. As things are, it sometimes seems impossible to get the disaster-related training you need, for a variety of reasons. These include:
- Lack of support from your agency -- this can be due to manpower shortages, budgetary constraints, or sheer indifference on the part of administrators.
- Time -- your routine duties may require you to expend your time for training on vital coursework not related to disaster.
- Geographic constraints -- facilities where training is offered may be far away or inconveniently located.
It is important that you know that even though your attendance of disaster-related coursework may be limited due to practical considerations such as those listed above, there are some PROACTIVE measures you can take to become better trained (and thus prepared) for disaster response:
- FEMA offers an extensive array of online courses.
- The National Disaster Life Support Foundation offers an online course covering an overview of mass casualty care.
- Local chapters of the American Red Cross routinely offer a variety of classes. The selection of available classes may vary by region. Many classes are available online.
Online courses offer the chance for you to receive structured training by qualified professionals at the time and place of your choosing. Even though learning styles vary according to the individual, everyone can benefit from the opportunities afforded by online learning.