AHP1302:            Development of a Radiological and Chemical Emergency Preparedness Course - Agents of Opportunity

 

Speaker:              Richard Collins, MS, REHS/RS, DAAS

 

Every day, thousands of shipments of toxic and radiological chemicals, traverse our highways and railways, as potential “agents of opportunity” for terrorists' use.  This informational session will describe:

1.       the public health threats due to Radiological and Chemical "Agents of Opportunity"

2.       the deficiencies in education and training of public health responders to these types of events, and

3.       the development and  relevance of a preparedness course called, "Radiological and Chemical Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism: The Emergency Medicine Response to Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Materials (TICs/TIMs) and Toxic Radiological Materials (TRMs)."

 

*************************************

Every day, thousands of shipments of toxic chemicals traverse the highways and railways of this country, often through the middle of heavily populated communities.  Radiological sources are used in innumerable industrial and medical processes.  Each one is a potential “agent of opportunity” for terrorists or other actors bent on the use of weapons of mass destruction.  The numbers of medical, nursing and paramedical personnel adequately trained to manage the medical consequences of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and/or Nuclear (CBRN) incidents are extremely low.  The experience base is shallow because of the low incidence of exposures to many of these hazards, e.g., radiological/nuclear (R/N) materials, and chemical toxicants.  Expertise for the health management of exposures to many of these hazards is limited residing only with a small subset of the population of practitioners and educators. A practical program for education and training of medical, nursing, pre-hospital and public health personnel is essential.

Since 2003, the Office of Environmental Health Emergencies (OEHE), within CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, has maintained unique, collaborative relationships with the Oak Ridge Associated Universities via the Radiation Emergencies Assistance Center Training Site (REAC/TS) and the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT).  OEHE has leveraged funds to develop and deliver a program of comprehensive education and training to the nation’s present and future pre-hospital and Emergency Department workforce, public health personnel and skilled support personnel. This informational session will trace the development and discuss the importance and present day relevance of the current preparedness course: Radiological and Chemical Agents of Opportunity for Terrorism: The Emergency Medicine Response to Toxic Industrial Chemicals and Materials (TICs/TIMs) and Toxic Radiological Materials (TRMs).  The AoO course has been delivered to 1,665 participants to date.