Emotional Buy-In to Your Emergency Response Program

Ian McAllister

By Ian McAllister
Emergency Operations Director, Fireside Partners Inc.

Posted on November 9, 2016
Air traffic control command center

On an intellectual level, having a comprehensive Emergency Response Program makes sense. That is why I have seen countless Program owners (Aviation Directors, Safety Managers and the like) attempt to develop and launch an Emergency Response Program within their respective organizations.

Despite the Program owner’s personal buy-in, reception to such a program is often tepid within the broad organization. The organizations’ employees, seeing the Program as a box to check for an audit or just a series of checklists, tend to have little emotional attachment to such a Program.

For your organization’s response team members, emotional buy-in is critical to ensure that the Program moves from a detached series of mechanical steps, to a holistic and effective response CULTURE.

While the value of building an emergency response culture is significant, the strategies to ensure it occurs are not difficult to implement.

  • Clearly define the objectives of your Emergency Response Program: Your Program’s primary objective is NOT to pass an audit or receive a discount on your insurance premium. The primary objective of your Emergency Response Program is to take care of the people directly and indirectly affected by a significant event. The realization of the humanitarian benefit of the Program is the first step in moving towards emotional buy-in and cultural adoption.
  • Educate the team so they become aware that a robust Emergency Response Program is the most effective way to take care of people: After the primary objective, “taking care of people,” is identified, understanding that the Emergency Response Program is the most effective way to accomplish this is paramount to your Program’s success. Your Program, as discussed in an earlier publication, provides the educational, practical, documentation and support components to ensure that the intentions expressed in your Emergency Response Plan (ERP) can be realistically met.
  • Ensure that internal stakeholders, such as corporate leadership, have a firm understanding of the value of the Program and the pitfalls if they do exist: This can be done through the execution of realistic exercises or practical demonstrations, such as the one facilitated by NBAA and available as a downloadable video.
  • Build your Program to handle a wide array of situations: Acknowledging that an aviation accident is not a common occurrence and even “minor” events like diversions for a medical or mechanical issue require a humanitarian response component, buy-in to the program is often gained by understanding the daily utility of such a Program.
  • Partner with a firm that specializes in Emergency Response Program development, execution and support – such as Fireside Partners: For resource restricted flight departments, an external partner to assist in execution of the Program is often the missing component in converting your static ERP into a living, culturally-driven Emergency Response Program.

Using the strategies described above will assist your flight department with developing an effective Emergency Response Program, designed to take care of what matters most… your people. Taking effective, field-tested guidance and delivering it in a way that drives emotional buy-in ensures the program will move from a static document to a living, effective, holistic solution for organizations that understand the value, and responsibility, of having an effective Emergency Response Program.

Fireside Partners Inc. Fireside Partners Inc.
Fireside Partners Inc. is the only fully integrated emergency services provider that specializes in the business aviation industry, and high net worth/high visibility individuals and business concerns. Providing a broad array of aviation focused prevention and emergency response services, Fireside is available 24/7/365 to some of the world’s best brands and most visible individuals and their families.

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