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Healthcare Emergency Preparation and Response to Bioterrorism



Length of Program: 120 minutes (90 minute presentation/30 minute Q&A)


Course Description: This program is an Introduction to the many facets of emergency preparedness and response impacting on the EMS mission during Bio-Terrorism incidents. Subjects stressed include; recognition and identification of hazards, patient receipt considerations, selection of personal protective equipment, decontamination, the incident command system, and emergency response plan development. The goal of this course is to aid in establishing response and operational procedures which may be required to fulfill the EMS mission while achieving the highest level of safety to EMS personnel. Incorporates the intent of 29 CFR 1910.120 and NFPA Standard 473, Competencies for EMS Personnel Responding to Hazardous Materials Incidents.


Target Audience:

This program is designed for Healthcare Managers, Directors and Supervisors involved in the Emergency Response Planning and Response to Bio-Terrorism events. Nursing staff of ERs, Safety, Security and Spill Control Team members. Ambulance personnel, off-site responders who interface with healthcare professionals to process and deliver contaminated and injured/contaminated to the facility.


Content for the program will include the following:

I. Healthcare Emergency Preparation & Response to Bio-Terrorism

(An Overview)

A. Introduction to the Problem

B. Goals of the program

C. Opening Comments


II. Recognition & Identification of Various Hazards and Receipt of Patient Protocols

A. Recognition and Identification of Various Bio-Agents

B. Toxicology and Exposure Guidelines

C. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)

D. Specialty Publications and Manuals

1. Janes

2. Military FMs and TMs


E. Patient Considerations

III. Selection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Suits)

A. Regulatory requirements as applicable

B. Personal Protective Equipment (Level of Suit & Respiratory Protection)

1. Selecting

2. Compatibility

C. Engineered Safeguards


IV. Selection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Respiratory Protection)

A. Regulatory Requirements

1. Types of Respirators

a. Air-Purifying Respirators

b. Supplied Air


2. Fit Testing

B. Types of Environments Requiring Respirator Use

1. Biohazards & Toxic Materials

2. Important Warnings and Precautions to Use

C. Important Warnings and Precautions

D. Use During Incidents for Greatest Safety

1. Types of Incidents at the Facility Requiring Use

2. Procedures to Follow During Emergencies

a. Providing for Continued Survivability: Team Approach

b. Summoning Help

c. Securing the Scene Against Further Injury

E. Determining the Total Ensemble for Safe Response


V. Decontamination Concerns

A. Determining the Type of Decon Required

1. Material Hazards

2. Safety of Decon Team

B. Locating the Decon Set-up to Maximize Efficiency and Safety to the Facility

C. Decon Methods

1. For Victims

2. For Decon Team

D. Coordinating Contaminated/Injured Operations

E. Establishing Policies & Procedures

VI. Incident Command System for Contamination Events

A. Introduction and Overview

B. Emergency Incident Management Problems & Solutions

1. Size-Up and Safety Precautions

2. Response Procedures

C. Incident Command System (ICS)

D. Functions and Applications

E. ICS Adoption, Command Post and Communications

VII. Emergency Response Plan Development

A. Plan Contents for Response Readiness

B. Needs Analysis

C. Assignment of Duties

D. Notification Procedure

E. Specific Response Procedures


At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Conduct an evaluation/review of their existing emergency response system to determine its adequacy to meet challenges inherent in bio-terrorism as well as other unique hazardous incidents.

  2. Recognize the various types of bio-threats for which preparedness must be assured.

  3. Examine the various chemical and biological agents which may be used and considerations for receipt and treatment of exposed patients.

  4. Select the adequate level of personal protective clothing to include respiratory protection required by the threat.

  5. Implement the incident command system within their facility to respond to ensure the highest levels of safety to their in-house population, response personnel, and staff.

  6. Determine and establish the type of decontamination required by the event.

  7. Develop emergency response plans or policies to enable the efficient response by in-house designated responders.


- November 15, 2001 -

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