Emergency responders

When storms, floods, and fires strike, emergency responders work around the clock to save families and their homes.

Friese: “We’re already in a situation for a lot of communities, where resources, whether it be E.M.S, police, or fire are sort of at their max on a daily basis, and then you add in some sort of extreme weather event or wildfire and that’s a real challenge for that community and its public safety personnel to deal with.”

Greg Friese is a paramedic and the editor-in-chief of EMS1.com. He says disasters can take an emotional toll on first responders, too. They generally live in the communities they serve, and can be dealing with losses of their own.

Friese: “They show up to work and keep working, likely with the knowledge that their living room is under two feet of water, and their family is driving hours away or attempting to ride out the storm on the second floor of the house.”

Climate change is making extreme weather more common.

So, to support emergency responders, Friese says cities should prioritize disaster preparedness and make sure that local departments are well-funded and well-equipped.

Reporting credit: Mark Knapp/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Avatar photo

Daisy Simmons

Daisy Simmons is a freelance writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience in research-driven storytelling. In addition to contributing to Yale Climate Connections since early 2016, she also...