When we say “Brave Responder” what exactly does that mean?

What exactly is the role of  “Brave Responder”? That’s the question I face this week as I continue to build this website up. What exactly separates a brave responder from an average responder? From any responder? Is this some sort of classification, or category, is it an arrogant title assumed by a person, or is it something entirely more? In order to get this website noticed and build an audience first I have to know what we are. Can it be so simple?

Brave Responder - An EMT LeaderWhen I started Brave Responders I didn’t have any sort of lofty goals or ideals. It was 2010 and I was an enlisted Airman in the Air Force. I had already been an EMT for 6 years at that point but moving state to state and being in the service made staying involving in patient care hard if not entirely impossible. I started a picture blog on Tumblr to share the humor and to continue to immerse myself in a topic that I loved in an attempt not to lose it. Over time the flakey little name I chose for my Tumblr account became something. It became an idea, an ideal, and then it grew a little bit more. It turned into this website in the end, right?

A Brave Responder is someone unafraid to go above and beyond what their role entails. Someone who shows up to work everyday or to their volunteer duty, does their time, and goes home is someone I would call an average responder. A brave responder is someone able to dedicate themselves to their department and become a role model. These people have attributes that make them distinguishable and valuable to the morale and function of every department. The good news is anyone can be one. It just takes a bit of leadership.

  • A Brave Responder is dedicated to personal education as much as he or she is to training those around them. This is sort of leader that always betters themselves and is the one always ready to help out when a probationary or fellow EMT asks for it.
  • A Brave Responder is one who dedicates time and invests themselves into the department. They can just as easily be a leader as they can a follower. If they are a paramedic they are not afraid to step down and take an EMT shift if their station needs it.
  • A Brave Responder leads from the front. He or she isn’t the one at the back doling out orders, behind a desk polishing a shiny badge,  or the micromanaging from a corner. They are the ones checking on their crews, answering questions as needed, and working to better the department as a whole; even if that means doing patient care themselves.
  • A Brave Responder is one who is thinks professionally and follows the trends in EMS. He or she doesn’t cling to old ideals and outdated equipment. They make sure their crews look the best, drive the best, and have the best available to them.

That’s right. Brave Responders isn’t so much a title as it is a leadership framework. It’s one I am Brave Responder - MCI Commanderactively developing and one I would like to teach in the future. Bravery isn’t about running into a fire, or saving someone’s life, but having the courage to be a leader. Believe it or not it’s harder than it sounds and it’s harder to find in active departments than one would think. Toxic leadership is among some of the biggest reasons why EMT’s burn out.

This website is about Brave Responders. It’s a resource for volunteers and career members alike. We cater to emergent and non-emergent. It’s for responders in the Fire Department and the Police Department. It’s about EMS and the culture surrounding it. This is not another news site like EMS1, or EMS World, or JEMS (the list goes on and on) but an informal magazine setting where responders can be responders. Where the light hearted is put at the highest priority and where EMT’s can become greater and more efficient leaders.

I look forward to serving you and I hope you find this website informative and useful.