Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (10/07)
As a certified first responder with the City of Austin Emergency Measures Office I was delighted to find more information to add to my training. (The City of Austin provided training as a result of 9/11 in the event Austin, Texas, experiences a disaster from terrorists or other incidents of major concern.) George W. Doherty’s book certainly presents a concise and informative addition.
Doherty explains it all, from psychological aspects to dealing with stress, trauma, and repercussions as well as how to deal with children, adults, elderly, and those with special needs during a crisis. He also covers societal and cultural aspects; however, he did not cover religious/spiritual beliefs of various groups. (The training I took covered this facet and I believe would be a good addition to Doherty’s detailed information. Knowing one’s beliefs gives direction to the responder of how to deal with the individual under duress.) But, there is more – he not only covers disasters and critical incidents, he covers war and terrorism. In addition, one extremely important aspect Doherty discusses is self-care. He gives in-depth suggestions for debriefing and follow-up.
The back of the book gives selected references for further reading as well as a list of websites where more information is available. I felt this was an extremely good list and was amazed to see how much information was actually offered. Doherty also includes a “victims’ needs” assessment and a course test. Reading this book and passing the course test will grant you a certificate with Contact Hours for approved organizations.
The only downfall of the book is the cover. When I looked at the cover I was taken back because, aside from the title, it doesn’t indicate the content of the book. Although a lovely photo of mountains and a lake is displayed, for marketing purposes I don’t believe this cover gives the book justice. The cover is more inclined to look like a coffee table book rather than an informative training manual. From a marketing perspective, I highly recommend that the cover be changed for future printings.
With all that said, I believe Doherty is providing a great addition to the library of a first responder, either beginner or one that is experienced. The information is well-researched and appropriate. Furthermore, I believe “Crisis Intervention Training for Disaster Workers” could be used by trainers when creating first responder to disaster training courses and be part of the study material.
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