I agree to Idea Training media & helicopters to provide aid following a disaster
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I disagree to Idea Training media & helicopters to provide aid following a disaster


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National Preparedness Report: Partnering in Disaster Response »

Training media & helicopters to provide aid following a disaster

Members of the media are often among the first to arrive at a disaster. Engage local media in a program to confirm and provide first aid, CPR, and disaster management/communication/coordination training to all media helicopter pilots and potential "on the scene" reporters and track via website accessible to media organizations and local disaster management in order to ensure both that training is up-to-date and that multiple individuals are trained at all organizations at all times. During all the times these individuals aren't reporting they can be actively and successfully helping in disaster response efforts. It might also be helpful to encourage and educate those media groups with helicopters about what kinds of first aid kits they can keep on hand at all times (including how frequently they would need to give those away and restock) that can be distributed on the ground or dropped from helicopters as they are surveying damage (and spotting isolated pockets of survivors in need of aid). Since the media can often access and arrive at the same time or before trained emergency relief, it makes sense to work with them to ensure the people found by the media can receive help from the media until others can arrive. Training the media to know how to properly summon that help when they recognize a need would also be helpful.

Submitted by in Jan 2012

Comments (3)

  1. Although the concept is noble, media has a specific role to play, and as such do provide a valuable but specific purpose. In some life-thretening situations media professionals have lent assistance, but mandating or expecting the private resources of broadcast professionals to be first responders first and then cover the event is unrealistic.
    in Jan 2012
  2. While I agree with your premise, the few media people that I had the pleasure to know would not interject in a disaster response. Their jobs, as I was told, was to be reporters of the incident, maintain objectivity by remaining neutral. Of course, when I read your post, I was reminded of two scenarios, where media got involved/did not get involved. Geraldo Riveria, during Hurricane Katrina, broke his news persona to help some people. In the book "The Bang-Bang Club", a photojournalist did not intervene when he saw an emaciated child struggling towards a feeding center. This will take some reflection.
    in Jan 2012
  3. It will take some thought, but there should be a defined role for the news media and it should be known to journalists AND emergency personnel.
    in Jan 2012

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