Paramedics' perceptions of risk and willingness to work during disasters

Erin Smith, Amee Morgans, Kristine Qureshi, Frederick Skip Burkle, Frank Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paramedics, as emergency healthcare workers and 'frontline' responders, are expected to be both willing and able to respond when disaster strikes. In reality, paramedics may be reluctant to work when the situation poses a possible threat to their own safety, their co-workers, or that of their families. Consequently, can ambulance services expect to have an adequate supply of paramedics that will be willing to work during disasters? Through the use of paramedic focus groups, this study demonstrates that ambulance services should not assume that all paramedics will be willing to report to work during disasters. This willingness to work is directly influenced by paramedics' perceptions of risk, as well as the type, duration, location, and visibility of the disaster. The impact of this should be considered in emergency preparedness and planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Safety Research


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