Emergency situations take place regularly. People encounter them in the offices, at home, on the roads and simply in the street on a sunny day. There are certain parts of the world where danger of emergencies in the form of natural disasters is permanent. Their consistent character makes it possible to implant responsibility in people, and everyone is taught what to do in cases when a city alarm system is turned on, and a frighteningly calm voice announces a reason for general mobilization of citizens. Such situations produce no panic as opposed to the ones when emergency drills have not taken place. The latter is not the case of Cupertino where Blackberry Farm park hosted the annual emergency response practice. Some treat the involvement of volunteers in programs of this kind utterly skeptically and call it a waste of time, for the focus is placed on the improvement of professional skills of medical workers. Skepticism is inappropriate in this case because response skills in emergency situations are generally at a low level, because they can be acquired through learning and because project developers take into account the likeliness of the simulated event.

An average American without special medical training reveals almost no or small knowledge of rescue operations during an emergency. It does not even take a disaster situation to prove this point: the absolute majority of citizens would not know what to do even in the case of sunstroke which can attack an unprepared visitor of California. They would call 911 and then just stand helplessly waiting for the emergency car to arrive. Sunstroke is not such a critical condition, but medical practice faces daily situations when time becomes a determinant factor in terms of saving people’s lives. Thousands of deaths caused by lack of basic medical and rescue operation knowledge of the passers-by are the best illustrations to it. Emergency drills present a chance for common citizens to experience critical situations in the role of participants. They obtain a great amount of information from the professionals. Taking in account low emergency literacy, training of response skills is essential for the residents of Cupertino. Even as observers, they can face difficult situations and watch the way medical experts deal with them. Every exposure to near-accident circumstances raises the levels of the emergence literacy. Thus, the increase in awareness is as important as basic practical training.

Volunteers playing the roles of victims are not props

They feel everything which is done to them. Moreover, they are human beings able to perceive and process information. Watching the manipulations of the professionals, victim-volunteers learn how to do it themselves. It is equally possible for the so-called neighborhood watch volunteers. A lot of information is delivered in the form of lectures during such trainings; in this way practical actions are reinforced by the theoretical basis. It is also possible that after taking a passive part in such events people would feel the desire to apply for the relevant programs and learn how to handle emergencies on the professional level. A good example always finds its followers. In such a way, emergency response trainings do not only improve the awareness and skills of the citizens but also raise the prestige of the noble and selfless profession of rescuers.

Emergency response programs are carefully elaborated

There is no use in teaching the residents of the flat country how to survive in avalanches. In the same way, Californian emergency response developers focus on the events that are most likely to happen in the area. Agendas of Cupertino programs have so far embraced flood and earthquake situations as well as interacting with reporting stations. All of these artificial circumstances can easily turn into the real ones in this part of the state. Their choice can be assessed as an act of defining the right priorities. Chances are high that the residents are more likely to be interested in the skills when they understand that once they can actually use them. Thus, the participants of the program obtain topical information and practical training which can be applied in various situations.

Skeptics may refer to emergency drills as to operations of the limited kind. Truly, they simulate only certain circumstances. On the other hand, there is no need for citizens to acquire the knowledge of dealing with all the possible situations embracing the whole scope of natural and anthropogenic catastrophes. This surplus will simply overload people and will rather breed confusion than results. In the same way, it is true that medical experts gain a lot from such practices: they have a chance to apply, review and consolidate the skills they have already gained. They already know all the relevant details and procedures and are given an opportunity to refresh the knowledge. However, it does not mean that the volunteers taking passive part in the drills gain nothing. The situations are designed with maximum real-life considerations, and whether or not actual knowledge results from the emergency practices, they remain useful.

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Cupertino emergency trainings are much more than just a series of all-day spectacular events in the city park when volunteers can feel themselves as personages of disaster movies. There is a serious underlying reason in these actions. Artificial emergency situations are designed correspondingly to the current state and are aimed at actual acquiring of new useful skills in the same measure as at developing of the existing ones. Besides, they can serve as a prompt for people to pay more attention to what they know and make them strive for more extensive knowledge. That is why it is unfair to claim that emergency response programs are beneficial only for those who already know how to deal with accidents.

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