Full Episode

Crisis Reactors

Between natural disasters, targeted attacks, and everyday accidents, we hear about crises happening to other people on the news all the time. This week, Piya speaks with people who were there when crisis struck, to find out how they responded... and what their reaction says about them.

Piya speaks with people about how they responded when crisis struck, and what their reaction says about them

Naveed Majid of Fredericton and Earl LeBlanc of Maugerville pulled a pickup truck driver to safety in May 2015. (Louella Woods)
Listen to the full episode54:00

Between natural disasters, targeted attacks, and everyday accidents, we hear about crises happening to other people on the news all the time. This week, Piya speaks with people who were there when crisis struck, to find out how they responded... and what their reaction says about them.

Here are the stories from this week's episode...

'I don't think — I just do': When crisis calls, this man steps up

While driving on a highway in New Brunswick, Naveed Majid noticed a truck that had veered off the road, rolled down an embankment, and caught fire. He went and helped bring the driver to safety shortly after the truck exploded. He tells Piya what compelled him to step up in the face of crisis... and how it's become a pattern in his life since an indelible moment in his childhood.

'We all want to believe we would be the hero': Why one woman froze in a crisis

When Jeva Lang was riding the subway, she saw a man in distress step in between the cars. She believed he was contemplating suicide. But she didn't try to help him, hoping a fellow riders would intervene instead. Since then, she's thought deeply about why she froze in that moment. She tells Piya what she's learned about how the "bystander effect" plays out in crisis situations.

Have you heard the one about the doctor who fainted at the sight of blood?

Before entering medical school, Dr. Phil Berry spent a night volunteering in an emergency room. Faced with the sight of a doctor pulling a splinter out of a woman's finger... he fainted. Phil tells Piya how that response continued through med school, how he overcame it, and why he thinks we need to be more open about the toll crisis after crisis takes on medical professionals.

Emergency dispatcher tried to 'brush off' her PTSD, until she couldn't

Halifax's Jessica Patoine is one of the people on the other end of the phone when the rest of us are having our worst, most crisis-filled days: an emergency dispatcher. She tells Piya how she developed the fortitude to deal with crisis so well, how her own personal crisis made her unable to continue for a time, and how she eventually able to bounce back.