Terrorism Awareness for the First Responder

Terrorism Awareness for the First Responder Time Required: Two Hours Materials:    · Appropriate Visuals and Projection Equipment References:     · Emergency Response to Terrorism: Basic Concepts, U.S. Department of Justice...


  5. Where did the product(s) come from, how long have they been there, and what has changed while 

       they were there

J. Outward warning signs and detection clues for the presence of a biological agent

  1. Verbal or written threats

  2. Suspicious bombing incidents that do not cause much blast or fire damage

  3. Abandoned spray device out of place for the environment

  4. Containers from laboratory or biological supply houses

  5. Biohazard, culture, or culture media labels

  6. Unusual numbers of sick or dying people or animals

      a. Any number of symptoms may occur

      b. Casualties may occur hours to days after an incident has occurred

      c. Time required before symptoms are observed is dependent on the agent used

  7. Unscheduled and unusual spray being disseminated, especially outdoors during periods of darkness

K. Outward warning signs and detection clues for radiological agents include placards, labels, and specialized packaging

L. Outward warning signs and detection clues for incendiary devices

  1. Prior warning (phone calls)

  2. Multiple fire locations

  3. Signs of accelerants

  4. Containers from flammable liquids

  5. Splatter patterns indicating a thrown device

  6. Fusing residue

  7. Signs of forced entry to the structure

  8. Common appliances out of place for the environment

M. Outward warning signs and detection clues for chemical devices

  1. Symptoms such as miosis, runny noses, difficulty breathing, and uncontrolled muscles and bodily

      functions for nerve agents. Victims may report a fruity odor

  2. Observation of blistering and other external symptoms for vesicants (blister) agents; numerous

      individuals experiencing unexplained water-like blisters, weals, and/or rashes. Victims may report

      an odor of garlic

  3. Showing great difficulty in breathing and onset of cardiac symptoms for blood agents. Victims may 

      report an odor of bitter or burnt almonds

  4. Observation of pulmonary distress for choking agents. Victims may report odors such as chlorine,

       bleach or swimming pool odors (chlorine) or newly-mowed hay or grass (phosgene)

  5. Observation of classic tear gas symptoms for irritants. Victims may report multiple odors including

      hair spray and pepper.

  6. Dead animals/birds/fish

      a. Not just an occasional road kill

      b. Numerous animals, birds, and fish in same area

  7. Lack of insect life

      a. If normal insect activity is missing, check for dead insects

      b. If near, water, check for dead fish or aquatic birds

  8. Unexplained odors - important to note that the particular odor is completely out of character with

      its surroundings

  9. Pattern of casualties

      a. Likely distributed downwind

      b. Near air ventilation system if indoors

  10. Illness in confined areas - different casualty rates for people working indoors versus outdoors

        dependent on where agent is released

  11. Unusual liquid droplets - numerous surfaces exhibit oily droplets/film; numerous water surfaces

         have an oily film when there was no rain

  12. Different looking areas - not just a patch of dead weeds but trees, shrubs, bushes, food crops,

        and/or lawns that are dead, discolored or withered

  13. Low-lying clouds - condition that is not consistent with its surroundings

  14. Unusual metal debris – unexplained bomb/munitions-like material, especially if it contains a liquid

N. Basic considerations

  1. Keep exposure time and product contact to a minimum

  2. Keep an appropriate distance from the hazardous environment

  3. Implement appropriate shielding in the form of respiratory protection and protective clothing

  4. May require emergency decontamination of large numbers of people

  5. May require activation of mass casualty or disaster plans due to large number of victims

  6. First responders may be able to do nothing more than control access to the scene by responders or

      control exit from the scene of victims