Radiation Incident: Managing Homeland Security

The given scenario provides a challenging process by which a traditional EMS system is no longer as applicable as it would be in other situations. The radiation attack response system in which government officials must utilize within this scenario must be flexible and adaptable as various challenges were presented. These challenges included dealing with hospital preparedness and radiation isolation, the communication issues which were present throughout the incident, the limited availability of state and federal authorities, and finally the lessons learned and how they must be applied for future radiation response systems.

The given scenario presents the occurrence of a bomb detonation which generates 95 trauma casualties. The event occurred during a major festival where 50,000 were present. The bomb additionally released radioactive material which exposed 50 victims and 20 responders. This means that an organized and immediate system needs to be put into place at the local hospitals. The U. S. Department of Labor (2011) already encourages hospitals to have emergency response systems put into place for such disasters: “Protecting health care workers who respond to emergencies involving hazardous substances is critical” (Par 8).

There are two main systems which should be put into place immediately upon the occurrence of this disaster: a system for admitting exposed patients and a system for protecting hospital workers. Before victims can be admitted into the hospital, they must wait in an enclosed environment until the hospital staff is well-equipped with protection equipment. Then the patients may be admitted. The most serious cases will be addressed first and all available staff members will be on hand to address the situation as quickly as possible.

Traditional EMS systems must be circumvented in this situation because they do not account for the hazardous aspect. Running Head: Radiation Incident Communication is crucial in responding to such a disaster as response is a timely manner. If communication lacks in any situation, there is a larger risk of the general public being exposed to the hazardous materials. This is why everything should be handled strategically and efficiently. The first matter of business is clearing the crowds and getting victims to the hospital.

Established community leaders need to communicate to the crowd exactly what happened and what they should do if they believe they were exposed to hazardous material. There should also be instruction given to those who weren’t exposed—they should go home and remain there until told otherwise. Lastly, the most important aspect of communication in this situation is constantly updating the general public about the progress of the emergency response. This will lead to greater cooperation and respect from community members.

One of the possible issues which will arise in this scenario is the limited immediate access to state and federal support agencies. While federal support can be requested, it takes a significant amount of time before it arrives. This is why it is important for a strategic use of state agencies in an immediate manner. Police, fire fighters, and other state agencies should be called into the disaster for assistance. These individuals can assist in assuring the community and organizing the chaos into a more structure manner.

Law enforcement, for example police officers can direct traffic and people into non-contaminated areas. During such tragedies, there is the potential for large chaos and lack of organization. It is vitally important that officials keep the public from civil unrest or rebellion during the unstable disaster response period. As mentioned before, communication is very important during this time. State and federal officials will be kept up-to-date with the latest information so that they may then inform the public about the updates.

This will allow everyone to work with one another peacefully and satisfactorily. Running Head: Radiation Incident Once the response has been implemented, it is important that officials make note of what strategies worked and which ones didn’t. This is because the lessons learned can be implemented into the city’s updated community response plan. From this situation, likely the biggest issues will occur within the hospital preparedness process.

If there is lack of communication or preparedness as victims are being admitted to the hospital, perhaps the community can develop a better process for the future. Medical staff can be trained on disaster response and the hospital can run emergency drills so that the organization is more prepared in the future. In addition, the program can be improved through greater community awareness and response training. Community members can be handed brochures on disaster response types, informing them what they can expect in the event of another community disaster depending on its classification.

The scenario given for this assignment will be difficult to respond to for state and federal agencies, but with careful application of communication and operating procedures, it can be approached. More important, the community can improve their emergency response by building upon past experiences and looking for areas which qualify improvements. References “Hospitals and Community Emergency Response”. (2011). United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from http://www. osha. gov/Publications/OSHA3152/osha3152. html.

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