Terrorism ResponseYour team is the first responder law enforcement agency to a crime scene where a bomb has exploded at City Hall

Running head: First Responders’ Response to a Potential NBC Post Blast Incident First Responders’ Response to a Potential NBC Post Blast Incident Author
An essay identifying conditions attendant to and actions required by a post blast incident involving Biological and Chemical toxins. First responders’ are concerned with (1) protection of first responders, (2) reduction of contamination risks, and (3) calling specialized responders. Protection of responders requires immediate decontamination of those exposed to the isolation area and their replacement with personnel wearing of Personnel Protection Equipment. An assumption of worst-case scenario is the conservative posture in determining isolation and protection areas when the toxin(s) are unknown. Specialized responders are the FBI, the Center of Disease Control teams and Explosives Ordnance Detonation (EOD) specialists, who take charge of the situation, identify toxin and take appropriate disease control, and detect and render safe secondary devices respectively.
First Responders’ Response to a Potential NBC Post Blast Incident Author
This essay discusses First Responders’ Strategy to a hypothetical scenario wherein a bomb explodes at City Hall and an anonymous caller claims responsibility and indicates that the explosion released toxins. The paper addresses preliminary evaluation, concerns about scene safety, life saving efforts and scene protection and security and control measures. It premises that the anonymous caller’s claim and hint are true.
The scenario is a post blast incident in a populated enclosed cite with possible biological and chemical (BC) toxins released during the explosion. Law enforcement first responders are faced with a situation where there are people killed and hurt. people in a state of shock and panic, danger of infrastructure collapse, danger of the presence of secondary devices within the building or in proximate buildings, and danger of biological and chemical (BC) contamination. The anonymous call is presumably post facto. As such, the conservative posture is to assume that there is exposure to toxins.
The first task is to set up a command post (CP) where activities among first responders and specialized responders can be coordinated. . The CP must be located at a relative safe distance from the site of incident, and be equipped for interagency coordination and communication. All agencies involved and medical facilities accepting casualties as well as within those 50 miles radius should know of the danger of BC to allow proper responses on their part (Pullman Fire Department, n.d). In this scenario the immediate concerns are: (1) protect first responders so they can do their jobs. (2) reduce risks of contamination spreading. and (3) alert and call for specialized responders.
Protecting first responders means immediate decontamination and medical observation for those exposed and personnel protective equipment (PPE) for those who will replace them. PPE must provide full protection for NBC. Lack of PPE suits and the need to minimize risks may require first responders to work through several shifts with minimum replacement.
Reducing risk of contamination will require containment of area and its perimeters to prevent unmonitored entry and exit. and evacuating and directing all persons who were in the building to quarantine site for medical treatment, observation, and decontamination. It may also involve tracing people who have left the site. Contained area may consist of several radial areas around the site of incident. When the toxin is unknown, the conservative posture is to assume a worst-case scenario in determining isolation area and protection area and downgrade only when there is confirmation that the assumption is false. Area containment may involve rerouting of traffic, setting up of detour, and limiting the movement of people within the contained area. It is possible for panic to occur and for people to want to depart from the protection area immediately. Such must be control to avoid the unmonitored spreading of contamination. Public advisory by appropriate local government official informing the public of shelter-in-place measures and assuring them of actions taken will help crowd control. (PHMSA, 2004, p 297-299)
Calling in specialized responders involves getting the FBI to take charge of the situation, the Center of Disease Control teams to identify the toxin, decontaminate and control spread of disease and the Explosives Ordnance Detonation (EOD) specialists to detect and "render safe "secondary devices if any. The training and capability of Public safety specialists will determine if there is a need to call on military specialists. First responders provide support to specialized responders. Thus, the first thing a First Responder should know is when to declare an emergency not within their control.
Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA). (2004). Emergency Response Guide. Retrieved 18 March 2007 from http://hazmat.dot.gov/pubs/erg/intropad.pdf
Pullman Fire Department, WSU Fire Services. (n.d). "Response and Decon Procedures for Biological Agents (Draft SOP 3)". Retrieved 18 March 2007 from http://www.pullman- wa.gov/Content/WYSIWYG/Fire/HAZMAT-NBC-SOP.pdf