1. Emergency workers are tasked to protect human life, property, and environment. The daily work routine of emergency workers such as fire fighters, emergency medical staff, and police officers constantly put their lives at risk which continue to increase as events become greater in terms of number and severity. As such, employees in the emergency services require better health and occupational safety programs. Although policy/liability driven top-down model of health and occupational safety programs are backed with various researches and decided upon through collaborations with other government organizations, input from emergency workers themselves should also be taken into consideration. A complete and comprehensive policy manual implies a wide coverage of all the possible hazard s that service workers may encounter. However, the hazards are understood better by the workers themselves and a manual that provides safety rules and regulations in the national level may not address specific hazards. Similarly, the implementation of the said policies may not be in a manner that will address the specific emergency needs or may even take a while as there are several organizations that are involved. As such, it can be said that strategies that would increase the health and wellness of people in the emergency services should follow the bottom-up system in order to complement the national safety rules and regulations.
2. An emergency responder’s desire to live well may have several roadblocks as the job entails a high level of mental and physical stress. Emergency workers are always on the go and are always faced with different difficult situations every time they are at work. In July of 2014, 13 Canadian first responders were reported to have killed themselves due to accrued mental stress from work (Tema Conter Memorial Trust cited in Chai, 2014). However, apart from the mental stress, emergency workers should also make sure that they are physically fit in order to attend to their daily responsibilities at work. A healthy way of living then is important for emergency workers, as well as all other workers, in order to maintain the highest possible job performance. Healthy living, although it may be difficult for people in the emergency services, can be achieved with the support of one another. In the same way, it can also present a pressure to conform as every individual has their own coping mechanism to stress. Eating healthy and living may be the best and wise choice but may not be easy to follow for others. No matter the sound reason presented by the importance of living well in their field of work, it may still prove to be difficult to accomplish. However, the act of helping others may present a positive result to the health and well-being of the workers as studies show that helping others have several therapeutic benefits (Borchard, 2015).
Borchard, Therese J. (18 April 2015). “Helping Others Is Good for Your Health: An Interview with Stephen G. Post, PhD.” Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/05/28/helping-others-is-good-for-your-health-an-interview-with-stephen-g-post-phd/
Chai, Carmi. (2014 July 17). “Is there enough mental health support for first responders?.”
Global News. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/1456613/is-there-enough-