Police, firefighters, medical technicians and other responders to emergencies around the United States believe they have inadequate protection against some of the dangers they face, particularly terrorist attacks, according to a RAND study issued today.
"The majority of emergency responders feel vastly underprepared and underprotected for the consequences of chemical, biological, or radiological terrorist attacks," says the study prepared by RAND's Science and Technology Policy Institute.
In trying to anticipate their response to terrorism, emergency workers "felt they did not know what they needed to protect against, what protection was appropriate and where to look for it," the report says. "Such uncertainty frustrates efforts to design a protection program and acquire the necessary technology."
The groundbreaking RAND study, which is one of the most in-depth ever conducted of emergency workers, is based on interviews with 190 first responders from 83 organizations around the nation.
The emergency workers