The crisis response team often works in situations characterised by intense emotions and confronting scenes. This requires that the team members are competent, coordinated and have a well-defined scope of responsibility. To successfully maintain and further develop the team’s competence, the team should not be too big and the workload sufficient.
The composition and management of the crisis response team is important for effective co-operation and coordination in a crisis.
Kirsti Silvola – Special Adviser, RVTS East
A crisis response team usually has 6-9 members. Some also chose to have an additional circle of “associated” consultants.
The crisis response team has a central role in the establishment of a disaster reception centre. It is important that the management structure of the disaster reception centre is well defined and that the leader of the crisis response team is familiar with and trained in his/her role.
To maintain the competence of the crisis response team, the municipality should ensure regular meetings where the team can build and develop relationships and evaluate and share experiences.
The number of cases they have been involved in influences the competence of the crisis response team. If they are only involved in rare major events, they will not get a chance to develop practical competence and co-operation. Competence that is rarely used is difficult to maintain. To gain practical experience, the crisis response team must also be used in smaller crises. The number of team members should be limited.
Professional first responders such as police, fire/rescue, ambulance and medical personnel will naturally be involved in a disaster setting. They have often developed their own routines and systems for staff follow-up and support during and after a mission. It is important to ensure that all those involved are well cared for during and after the event.