First responders are well known to be the unsung heroes who support their communities by providing important and necessary services. However, first responders occupy many other roles that the general public may not be aware of but are nonetheless valuable. Here are some of the most interesting and unexpected responsibilities of America's first responders:

Disaster response

First responders are commonly thought of as those who respond at the scene of a local crisis, and while that is true, they also play an important role in broader disaster response efforts. In times of national emergency, first responders are there to take care of those who need it the most at the time, no matter where they are. Because they are trained to react with a level head and operate effectively in times of crisis, first responders are the perfect group of people to send to help manage national emergencies.

According to the legal services company US Legal, first responders are a massive part of the response plan. They can help manage "evacuation, rescue, crowd control, and medical attention." Not only do first responders get called on in times of national need, but they are also relied on to prepare their communities for the likelihood of a disaster.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Preparation in schools

Emergency preparation in schools is important in case of natural disasters or other high risk situation. Even something as simple as a fire drill can make a huge difference in a time of need. Sometimes, to add another layer of safety, administrators partner with first responders. When firefighters and police officers build a working relationship with teachers, aids and the members of the school, their response can be more effective in an emergency situation.

First responders can also share important information with administrators and students alike. According to Navigate360, they provide valuable knowledge and help to enhance already existing safety plans for school-wide emergencies. Working with first responders can add a layer of safety and preparedness that will protect the learning environment.

Psychological first aid

First responders are all trained to administer first aid and provide life-saving care, but there is a psychological element that many don't think about. However, first responders do have to consider the mental component of their care and are trained to manage those who may be having an adverse mental reaction to their current situation. For example, if a group of people has just experienced a terrible car accident, there is likely to be a psychological impact as well.

According to, there is a high chance that a car accident or a circumstance that requires the presence of a first responder will lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the victim. The EMT or firefighter will need to make sure the people involved are safe and out of harm's way while understanding the victim's fragile mental state.

Community support

First responders are present in every American community, in many ways that are unseen. Recently, North Carolina designated that child protective services workers and adult protective services workers are now emergency first responders. According to a local news source, the law became active in June 2020 and it was created to give the workers more protections and added training. The typical titles and operations that are held by first responders are rapidly changing, as our requirements as a nation shift. In the wake of the global pandemic, we need them more than ever.