Chapter

<i>HEROES OR VILLAINS?</i>

CHERYL REGEHR and TED BOBER

in In the Line of Fire

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780195165029
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864089 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165029.003.0007
 HEROES OR VILLAINS?

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While the initial public response to tragic events may be an outpouring of support and admiration for emergency workers, this support inevitably wanes and society begins to consider what might have been done to facilitate a more positive outcome to the disaster. Following the occurrence of a significant event, frequently a post-mortem inquiry is performed in the form of a coroner’s inquest, an internal investigation, or a specially formed public commission. Practice experience has shown that the experience of going through a post-mortem review can be extremely stressful. Emergency service workers are often faced with life threatening and uncontrollable situations where quick thinking and reasoned action is required. Failure to deal with these acute situations optimally may result in professional condemnation, community sanctions and possible legal actions. This chapter reviews experiences with public inquiries and their impact on the individual, their family, and the emergency service organization.

Keywords: public inquiry; coroner’s inquest; social support; organizational support; media; internal investigation; special investigations unit

Chapter.  5962 words.  Illustrated.

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