When an emergency situation develops, the first people on the scene are usually police officers, fire-fighters, and paramedics, or emergency medical technicians (EMT). These are the first responders, and they are trained to react quickly in emergencies. The first responders’ primary task is to make sure people are safe. This includes evacuation, rescue, crowd control, and medical attention. They also make sure that the area where the emergency is occurring has been secured. They redirect traffic and they keep onlookers away. In addition, they try to serve as a calming force, keeping panic and disorder to a minimum.
First responders have a unique perspective because they know their localities well. They know street plans and landmarks firsthand, and they also understand the local residents and the municipal structure. Despite this, and despite their training, first responders are not equipped to handle large emergencies alone.