Time to review your mass casualty decon strategy

Published:  13 September, 2013

US Army research centre offers free online source for first responders that includes tactics, techniques and procedures on mass casualty decon.

The US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) has published updated Guidelines for Mass Casualty Decontamination During a HAZMAT/Weapon of Mass Destruction Incident.

They include concise descriptions of procedures and checklists to set up and execute mass casualty decontamination (Volume I) as well as in-depth discussions of HAZMAT/WMD mass casualty decontamination (Volume II).

Both volumes include high-resolution graphics developed for emergency reference and training materials for use in multi-lingual communities. The guidelines were updated with input from community responders, army officers, and Department of Defense medical and chemical-biological technical expertise.

Dr Divarco, who led the work on behalf of ECBC and has experience as a first responder, commented: ‘The revised ECBC Report was developed for field application by First Responders. It was designed to provide technical information and suggested procedures for mass casualty decontamination following a hazardous material (HAZMAT)/WMD attack. Because of the combination of theoretical information, the inclusion of more recent findings from our international partners on the subject, and potential best practice practical applications offered, it was critical to involve a diverse group of individuals in the development and review of the revised Report in order to produce a meaningful product.’

Bill Lake, ECBC Engineering Support Division Chief, added: ‘While there is no perfect solution to mass casualty decontamination and there is no single process or method that can account for all variables such as hazard, time, number of victims, environmental conditions, resource availability, etc., the information presented in Volume I and II of the revised Report provides a means to help identify a simple, consistent mass casualty decontamination process that can be applied with reasonable effectiveness to any HAZMAT/WMD incident.’

To read the Report click here.

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