Hazmat

LESSONS LEARNED FROM ANTHRAX THREATS APPLY TODAY

Issue 9 and Volume 159.

BY STEVEN M. DE LISI AND TIMOTHY R. CROLEY Anthrax became a household word in October 2001. Within days of the first reported U.S. death from anthrax in Florida, emergency service organizations nationwide were overwhelmed by reports from citizens of sightings of suspicious substances believed to be the organism that causes this deadly disease. Throughout the country, personnel from fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies, along with members of hazardous materials teams, responded to thousands of calls for assistance, suddenly placing them in the forefront of the war on terrorism. Although most calls were associated with mailed packages, powder on any surface, in any container, anywhere, and at anytime was now also suspect. In addition to having to deal with the uncertainty of the hazards posed by these unknown substances, emergency personnel also were under the media spotlight probably more so than at any other time in the past. Their…

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