Several years ago the first responding apparatus took on the responsibility of decontaminating the large number of victims who may have been contaminated by an accidental release of an industrial chemical or the intentional release of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
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.
Today’s “bad guys,” criminals and terrorists, are more determined and heavily armed than ever before, and crisis situations such as terrorist attacks, illicit labs, civil unrest, active shooters, barricaded subjects, and hostage takings are occurring with alarming frequency.
Selecting protective clothing for hazardous situations has always been difficult.
As we are aware, our response to emergencies as it relates to all-hazard incident management and command of emergencies has been changing to a comprehensive national approach of incident management known as the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
In the months following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the emergency response community was hit with a large number of white powder investigations.
Traditional haz-mat response, as it existed prior to September 11, 2001, no longer meets the mission objectives of today’s world and must be rebuilt.
During the past year, there have been changes to existing detection technologies as well as new developments in emerging technologies.
Everyone on Earth looks into the daytime sky and sees the sun. It seems different to someone in the Sahara desert desperately searching for the tiniest bit of shade than it does to a commercial fisherman in Barrow, Alaska, where the winter sun is an infrequent visitor.
We are often challenged to understand and identify the roles of fire, EMS, and police agencies at terrorist events and the most effective methods for coordinating them.