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A cultural first aider can plan and implement first aid operations in coordination with emergency responders, humanitarian professionals, heritage owners and volunteers. A cultural first aider is someone who has received prior training in safeguarding endangered cultural heritage during, or immediately after an emergency. Providing cultural heritage first aid during major or complex emergencies involves balancing the competing needs of food, water, shelter, security and identity. A cultural first aider must therefore be able to cope with physical, mental, environmental, and task-specific work demands. S/he should have the knowledge and skills to assess, document, secure and stabilise different types of cultural heritage in diverse emergency contexts. S/he should be able to work in multidisciplinary teams. Cultural first aiders might be drawn from local communities, emergency response agencies and cultural heritage institutions. Read the qualities listed on the next page and identify someone from your institution or local community who would best fit the role of a cultural first aider. Cultural first aiders in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2010. Photo: Aparna Tandon, ICCROM. Introducing cultural heritage first aid 17 The three main qualities of a cultural first aider Resourceful • understands the diverse forms of cultural heritage • knowledgeable of the emergency context • strong analytical and critical skills People-focused • an active listener • understands and respects existing social structures beliefs and values • team player • sensitive to human needs • capable of building trust Action-oriented • positive ‘can do’ attitude • creative problem solver • quick thinker with physical stamina RESOURCEFUL PEOPLE-FOCUSED ACTION-ORIENTED RESOURCEFUL PEOPLE-FOCUSED ACTION-ORIENTED RESOURCEFUL PEOPLE-FOCUSED ACTION-ORIENTED RESOURCEFUL PEOPLE-FOCUSED ACTION-ORIENTED 18 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis | 1. Handbook Making the case for coordinating cultural heritage first aid: Haiti In the months following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the Institut de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine National (ISPAN) undertook an exercise to tag and stamp damaged historic buildings in affected areas. Lacking sufficient capacity (in terms of funds and manpower) to secure and stabilise the buildings, the Institute aimed to prevent the demolition of the buildings and take measures to safeguard them, according to their importance, function and use. Why is it important to coordinate cultural heritage first aid with the overall emergency response? During an emergency, priorities for relief and recovery are identified through pre-organized national or international emergency management systems. Based on the priorities identified, aid is then channelled through these systems. To ensure safety and security, access to the affected area is strictly controlled. In order to gain access to the affected area and ensure that cultural heritage is considered a priority, it is important to coordinate cultural heritage efforts within the overall emergency response. Failure to do so may increase the risk of the affected heritage being damaged or destroyed.