Mass Decontamination for First Responders

This two-hour drill gives readers the understanding of the procedures for setting up mass decontamination operations.


TOPIC: MASS DECONTAMINATION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

TIME REQUIRED: TWO HOURS

MATERIALS: APPROPRIATE AUDIO VISUAL SUPPORT, TWO FULLY EQUIPPED ENGINES, ONE AERIAL APPARATUS (OPTIONAL)

REFERENCES: GUIDELINES FOR MASS CASUALTY DECONTAMINATION DURING A TERRORIST CHEMICAL AGENT INCIDENT, U.S.

ARMY SOLDIER AND BIOLOGICAL CHEMICAL COMMAND (SBCCOM), HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FOR FIRST RESPONDERS,

SECOND EDITION, IFSTA

PREPARATION:

MOTIVATION:

OBJECTIVE (SPO): 1-1

The individual will demonstrate a basic understanding of mass decontamination techniques and procedures that could be applied in the event of a terrorist incident, from memory, without assistance, to a written test accuracy of 70%.

OVERVIEW:

MASS DECONTAMINATION FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

   * Need for Decontamination

   * Equipment Requirements

   * Scene Setup

   * Decon Operations

DEVELOPING A TRAINING PROGRAM

SPO 1-1 The individual will demonstrate a basic understanding of mass decontamination techniques and procedures that could be applied in the event of a terrorist incident, from memory, without assistance, to a written test accuracy of 70%.

EO 1-1 Identify the need to establish mass decontamination following a suspected chemical or biological terrorist incident.

EO 1-2 Identify the equipment required to decontaminate a large number of people quickly.

EO 1-3 Identify the scene setup to decontaminate a large number of people that may have been exposed to a chemical or biological incident.

EO 1-4 Demonstrate the operation of a mass decontamination setup.

This drill is designed to prepare the first responder to a suspected terrorist incident involving a chemical or biological agent to setup and operate a decontamination operation to decontaminate a large number of people quickly and efficiently. It is assumed that the participants have had some previous hazardous materials training, preferably to the operations level. The information in this drill is limited to chemical and biological agents and does not address the other potential weapons of mass destruction such as explosives, incendiary devices, or nuclear weapons.

 

I. NEED FOR DECONTAMINATION (1-1)

A. Potential for Release of Agents

  1. Heightened tension in the world

  2. Anthrax alarms - real or imagined

  3. Threats - real or potential

  4. Availability of product

  5. Product may be known or unknown

B. Types of Releases

  1. Airborne release

      a. Dependent upon pressure behind release

      b. Movement affected by wind speed and direction

      c. Presents greatest respiratory hazard

      d. Release may cause penetration into clothing and skin

  2. Liquid release

      a. Ability to vaporize dependent on ambient temperature or heat source applied to product

      b. Potential spread of agent directly affected by vapor emission

  3. Solids release

      a. Ability to move from source directly affected by size of particles

      b. Wind can affect particle movement, especially for smaller particles

      c. Could be spread through air-handling systems

C. Potential for Contamination

  1. Expect at least a 5:1 ratio of unaffected to affected casualties

  2. Not all exposed will be contaminated

  3. Number of people exposed directly affected by

     a. Type of release

     b. Confinement of release - inside or outside

     c. Proximity of people to release

     d. Duration of release

  4. Amount, concentration, and purity of product

  5. Release mechanism (some products such as sarin more effective when heated to produce vapor

      and dispersed using forced ventilation)

 

II. EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS (1-2)

A. Apparatus

  1. At least two fully equipped pumpers

  2. Aerial apparatus (optional)

B. Equipment

  1. Hose and nozzles

  2. Salvage covers or opaque material

  3. Ladders

  4. Rope

C. Supplies

  1. Decon solutions

      a. Laundry detergent

      b. Household bleach

  2. Collection items

     a. Sealable plastic bags for valuables and personal items

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