CBRN incident Target: Saving Lives

New Threats for railway infrastructures, was main focus of meeting organized in New York by Domestic Preparedness (DomPrep) and attended by representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement officers, intelligence experts , etc.

In this context, Captain Bobby Baker of the Dallas Fire Rescue, has published a very interesting article with the title "The Key to Saving Lives in CBRNE Events".

Captain Baker analyzes in his article the need to extend the coverage that the so-called Joint Hazard Intervention Teams (JHIT) have on special events (with a large number of people) to the protection of critical infrastructures such as: train stations, airports , federal buildings and shopping malls. Highlighting that " combining the capabilities and technological assets of major cities should be at the top of the next resilience list"

Taking advantage of Captain Baker's brilliant article, we would like to reflect on two common parameters to the critical infrastructures that he mentions: (1) the large number of people who are usually in them and (2) they are clear objectives of a terrorist attack. Conditioning Resilience within the urban environments of large cities.

Updated CBRN protocols and trained First Responders and Hazmat Response Teams are fundamental factors on which to build resilience proactively for CBRN incident management  with chemical, biological or radiological agents.

CBRN protocols set as main objective in the management of a Hazmat incident to Mitigate Risks and Saving Lives.

In the cases of critical infrastructures mentioned in Captain Baker's article, the large number of people that may be affected by the contamination of chemical, biological or radiological agents is the main aspect to be considered, both because of the health risk of the affected themselves as well as by the propagation of the contamination that those affected could generate involuntarily.

At this point, an accurate detection and identification of the causative agent of the contamination is necessary to determine first the medical treatment that those affected should receive to save their lives, and second the type of decontaminating agent that should be used to proceed to an effective decontamination of the people affected, that prevents the spread of the polluting agent.


@Ministerio de Defensa

The decontamination of people is based on 3 fundamental pillars:

Returning to the casuistry of the management of a CBRN incident in a critical infrastructure such as those mentioned above (train stations, airports, shopping centers, etc.), First Responders and Hazmat Response Teams may encounter a large variation in the number of people affected, depending on the many factors: the day of the week, the time, the type of polluting agent, ..

In short, First Responders or Hazmat Response Teams when they go to the scene of the incident, do not know in advance if they are going to meet with a few people affected or with tens or hundreds of affected. This added challenge for First Responders requires that modular and configurable solutions are needed to deploy on-site the decontamination capabilities required in each intervention: decontamination of 4 or 5 people, or more than 100 people. And are the people affected valid to decontaminate themselves, or need assistance (disabled, injured, etc.)

Therefore, First Responders and Hazmat Response Teams demand decontamination equipment of maximum capacity and modular and configurable decontamination showers, which allow a quick way to set up an emergency decontamination post that allows treating a few contaminated people (whether wounded, disabled or not). need assistance). Until deploying a massive decontamination station to decontaminate several hundred affected people.

Always keeping in mind that main Objective in any CBRN or Hazmat scenario is to Mitigate Risks and Saving Lives.

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