November 16, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced today a new online course designed to assist Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel to respond more effectively when faced with a Multiple Casualty Incident (MCI). The new independent study course, EMS Operations at Multi-Casualty Incidents is a 4-hour, web-based course that addresses preparedness planning; management of the incident; safe and efficient triage, treatment, and transportation of patients; and the de-escalation of the response. It is not intended to provide detailed steps in the care of patients.

"Hardly a day passes without reading or hearing about a multiple casualty incident occurring somewhere in the nation," said Brown.
"President Bush,Secretary Ridge and I continue to ensure that all first responders continue to receive courses like this to support their efforts to protect and better serve our communities."

Upon successful completion of this course, the participant/student will be able to:
* Describe the characteristics of multiple casualty incidents.
* Describe the types and indicators of CBRNE incidents.
* Describe the steps of responding to a Multiple Casualty Incident,including preparedness planning, triage, treatment, transportation, andincident demobilization.
* Describe the purpose of triage and how to perform it.
* Describe the purpose of decontamination and the resources required to perform it.
* Describe specialized medical treatment that can be administered to victims of CBRNE incidents.

An MCI can occur as a result of many situations, including a transportation crash, the collapse of a building or bleachers, a civil disturbance, a severe weather event, a hazardous material release, or a terrorist attack to name a few. Since September 11, 2001, EMS responders are keenly aware of the dangers of MCIs and the additional challengespresented by terrorist attacks involving chemical, biological,radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) agents. The course includes information on safely and effectively dealing with an MCI resulting from an attack involving a CBRNE agent.

EMS subject matter experts from across the country worked with training specialists at FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to develop this course. The course can be found on USFA's Virtual Campus at: The USFA has many other training programs, both online and classroom-based, that are designed to assist emergency responders in becoming better prepared for all types of emergencies.

Information on these training programs and other USFA initiatives and
publications can be found at