Any course that I apply for enrollment in, I do so with the expectation that it will make a substantial positive contribution to my life and community. When I first began studying ERA 4213, I knew it would be beneficial to my education and future career. This course has taught me that I am expected to serve my country with compassion, professionalism, and pride. When our precious civilians are in need, I have found that it is my duty as a public safety specialist to assist them (American, 2010). This course has also made me realize that my career professional demands high expectations to be able to perform daily activities in my work and during a disaster, and these expectations start even before an emergency situation occurs. I have been able to understand that a public safety professional needs to have education, community commitment, professional development, and proper training to manage all-hazard environment efficiently. This paper reflects on what I have learned as a public safety professional by studying ERA 4213 course. The paper will reflect on essential skills that I have acquired from this course and program, such as assessing problems and applying viable solutions, critical thinking, organization, and communication skills among others.
ERA 4213 course helps public safety professionals to learn how they are supposed to guarantee the safety of the public by responding to emergency situations, protecting property, and enforcing laws. Therefore, it is the work of the public safety professional to ensure that citizen well-being and welfare are maintained through their work (American, 2010). However, from this course, I have learned that for public safety professional to perform his/her job efficiently communication skill is very significant. Communication skill is vital for this profession because it helps humans to connect, and public safety professionals act as a link between the policymakers and the public. Excellent communication skills enable the public safety professionals to engage with the public and gather necessary information when dealing with the emergency situation. I have learned that active listening is a crucial tool that can work as a life saver. Excellent communication skills help the one to determine whether availed or gathered information is reliable to determine the next course of action (Orey, 2015).
Furthermore, for professionals in this career to operate efficiently, it is significant to consider the publics concerns and desires. Moreover, I have learned that the considerable part of work for public safety professional is to ensure that members of the public are kept out of danger. Therefore, to be able to do that the professionals must communicate with the citizens to ensure that they understand the imminent risks posed by the hazards. For example, a safety public professional can organize press conferences, notify news outlets, and use social media accounts to inform the public when they are supposed to evacuate during the emergency situations or how to reduce the risk of endangering their lives, and inform which are dangerous areas that they are supposedly no to go (Orey, 2015). Before I started this course, I had poor communication skills, but this course had helped me to understand, that for me to succeed in my career communication skills are very crucial, and this has helped me to concentrate heavily on improving them. As a result, now my communication skills are better than when I started.
The other significant skill I have learned from this course is critical thinking. Public safety professional deals with hazardous emergencies, such as fire, flood, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, cyber attacks, and the outbreak of diseases among others. All these circumstances require strong thinking skills. Critical thinking helps public safety professionals to anticipate situations and defend against external and internal threats. Working on dangerous and complex circumstances demands the ability to reason precisely well on how to deal with uncertain and ambiguous context. Moreover, this course has enabled me to understand that the ability to evaluate alternatives, analyze problems, and be able to explain everything is very essential in this profession. Also, I have learned that applying critical thinking in an organized, logical, effective, and speedy manner requires focus, responsiveness, foresight, and resourcefulness (Starkey, 2015).
Also, critical thinking is crucial to this profession, because it helps public safety professional not to make an assumption when they are working. Working in an emergency situation is very risky and fragile, which means every step taken to help those experiencing the problem is paramount. Therefore, a suitable process of critical thinking supports the public safety professionals to eradicate the temptations of assuming, that emergency scenario they are dealing with can be solved like any situation they dealt with in the past. Thus, it helps workers to search beyond conventional solutions and find new ideas which can help them to address the problems efficiently and effectively (Starkey, 2015).
Another important thing I have learned from this course is the skill of assessing problems and applying viable solutions, something that is very significant to public safety professionals. Assessing problems helps the professionals in this career to address and determine the needs involving current situation they are dealing with and review the desired wants or conditions. Therefore, it is paramount for the public safety professional when dealing with the emergency situation to assess the discrepancy between the current situation and the condition required to be able to measure appropriately the viable solution that needs to be applied (ODonnell, 2008).
Also, I learned that problem assessment is a part of the planning process that public safety professional must continue engaging in. This skill helps to improve training and education of professionals working in emergency situations. Moreover, problem assessment skill helps to strengthen and refine young graduates and professionals who have not yet gained experience of working in the field. Also, problem assessment is an efficient tool for clarifying the problem and even identifying a necessary required solution. Moreover, it is crucial for the public safety professional to determine the problem during emergency situation very quickly to ensure that finite resources are only directed towards implementation of applicable and feasible solutions that can help the public promptly. Also, I learned that to apply problem assessment skill efficiently it is crucial to gather sufficient and appropriate data to ensure that the process of problem assessment addresses current needs and required wants (ODonnell, 2008).
The other important skill that I have learned in this course, which will help me in my career, is teamwork. Before I started this course, I was weak on teamwork issues, but later I realized that for me to succeed in my career, teamwork is significant. For public safety professionals work in an environment requires teamwork, good communication, and coordination. When dealing with the emergency situation, if a member of the team fails to perform at peak level, the results of the whole teamwork will be devastating in case they are not fatal. Therefore, I learned that both, in office and field, all members of the team must learn how to trust and care for each other (Smith, 2014).
Also, I learned that for an excellent teamwork environment to thrive, members should learn to remain responsible, dependable, sincere, and accountable. Lying to other members so that they can perform your role is not healthy for a team. Also, coming to work late, abusing any available flexibility only make it impossible for public safety professionals to perform their duties efficiently. Also, I learned that it is important to help other team members when they are stuck and their work is not flowing efficiently. Moreover, it is also essential to pick calls from the fellow team members, regardless of whether you have been granted an off. Also, contributing actively to the team discussion is very critical to ensure that every member of the team participates in the decision-making process (Smith, 2014).
The other important thing that I learned in this course is leadership skills, which were somehow weak before I started this course, but later I improved them gradually. Dealing with emergency and hazardous situations requires good leadership skills and an excellent understanding of management principles to drive change and manage the conditions both, in the field and the office. As a professional in this career, I learned that I need to build leadership on safety issues, health, environmental initiatives, and create strategies that ensure emergencies and hazardous situations are managed efficiently. Moreover, excellent leadership skills are essential in ensuring that there is a right working environment in the workplace, and that diversity and organization culture are embraced. I learned that a good leader must learn how to prioritize things by understanding what needs immediate attention. Another important skill of leadership is organizing skills that involve configuring resources, supplies, equipment, and even people in an organized manner. Also, motivation is important, the skill that helps public safety professional to motivate the other team members (Novis, 2011).
Also, in this course, I have learned that many agencies are working with public safety professionals. Therefore, cooperation between the agencies when they are planning to respond to the emergency situation is crucial. All the agencies working in the field should coordinate together to achieve the common goal of helping the public members. I learned that all public safety professionals working with different agencies should follow National Incident Management System approach whenever they are working in the field to solve the problems affecting the public members. Moreover, I also learned that it is the work of multiagency coordination organization (comprising of all group members) to make decisions and set policies that are significant for enabling the public safety professionals to work together and efficiently (American, 2010).
The only negative aspect or, maybe I can call it the challenging thing I experienced when I was learning this course, is that my time was much squeezed. I had to work, attended the lectures, barely hung out with my friends and took part on the family issues, something which was very challenging. Therefore, time management was always a bottleneck issue to me and sometimes I had to sleep late to make sure that I have revised all the notes and finished all the assignments which our professor kept on giving us regularly. However, with time I was able to learn more about time management since I realized that my career will always be demanding. Therefore, I took this negative aspect as a chance for me to work on improving my time management skill, and in the end I succeeded (Novis, 2011).
ERA 4213 course has redefined my understanding of learning in my professional career, and great learning opportunities that I have gained from this course will extend beyond my career and work. During this course period, I met different types of people whom we worked together whenever the professor gave us group assignments. These people were excellent and this improved my socialization with different types of people a lot. Mingling with people from different cultures, religions, and race is among the valuable thing that I gained by learning this course, something which one cannot get from books and professors, and this helped me to start viewing world at different angles. Also, this course enabled me to grow as a learner, because it was mandatory for all students to contribute to activities, like debates and group projects that required one to interact and provide an opinion. Before I joined this course I was not a good debater, but these numerous debates and group projects improved my debating skills, and I am grateful for that.
Moreover, this course made me happy and met my expectations, because I learned from the professor that students who have done a course on public safety management are highly needed all over the world. This made me happy to learn that my career is highly awaited by the members of the public to serve them. Besides, I was able to gain new technological skills and knowledge that I was not proficient in, like creating webs and using computerized temperature probes. Also, this course has improved me a lot, because most of my goals, such as learning problem assessment skill and application of the viable solution, critical thinking skill, communication skill, teamwork, and leadership skill were realized. Moreover, I also learned that even though technology has made our life more comfortable and created much potential, life is much more meaningful when people learn, discuss, and share things together directly.
American, P. A. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. 6th ed., APA.
Novis, G. (2011). Leadership skills. Johannesburg: Freeman Productions.
O’Donnell, D. (2008). Problem solving in oncology. Oxford, England: Clinical Pub.
Orey, M. C. (2015). Communication skills training.
Smith, K. A. (2014). Teamwork and project management. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Starkey, L. B., & LearningExpress (Organization). (2015). Critical thinking skills success in 20 minutes a day.