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First responders' protection during response to a tall building collapse.

El-Ayouby N
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2005 May; :38-39
Following the tragic event of the World Trade Center (WTC) of 9/11, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contracted with the Rand Science and Technology Policy Institute (STI) to determine the problems faced by the first responders (firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical services and trade services) during this event. Several problems were identified that hindered the performance of the search and rescue operations. Among the identified problems were the deficiencies in personal protective equipment (PPE) needed, identification of hazards the first responders faced, information on the short and long terms effects of exposure, the geographic location of the tasks performed by various responders, and the logistic problems associated with supplying during extended efforts. The NIOSH and Rand STI efforts resulted in an extensive report based on workshops conducted with emergency responders. This report was used to create guidelines and fact sheets tailored to each group of emergency responder's operational tasks. The objective of the guidelines and fact sheets is to have information useable by incident commanders and documents that are easily carried on site providing information addressing anticipated hazards. These documents address chemical, physical and biological hazards. The hazards were identified based on the finding in the Rand STI report, existing NIOSH policy, and on the monitoring results that were performed by local, state and government organizations during the WTC event. Each guideline and fact sheet uses an integrated approach to a different environment (zone) on the collapse site and addresses the types of hazards and their concentration in the different zones, the length of acceptable exposures, the selection PPE under unknown as well as known exposures, and the level of protection required for each zone in the presence or absence of monitoring. The fact sheets and guidelines emphasize training, cautions, limitations and restrictions of PPE use.
Emergency-responders; Emergency-response; Hazards; Fire-fighters; Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Personal-protective-equipment; Biological-warfare-agents; Biological-weapons; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Monitoring-systems; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division