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How to Handle a Hazardous Scene

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HOW TO HANDLE A HAZARDOUS SCENE
The scenario is that a rain has been derailed right behind a hospital and charter house (senior residence) and the train is carrying 30,000 gallons of anhydrous ammonia. The chemical ruptures. The effects are irritation to the eyes and chemical burns to the skin, eyes, nasal passage and throat and lungs. Some of the chemical starts to burn which creates toxic gases and now we have a disaster that eventually causes mass casualties and mass fatalities. The winds are blowing to a hot zone and make the area dangerous to life and health toward downtown. The ammonia vapors start to spread into the subway and low areas where people are using the subway. The gases have now started to circulate all through the downtown area and the Clinic buildings. As the incident commander I would first make sure that the area is evacuated so that there will be less casualties and deaths. Next call in the necessary help to determine the levels of protection so I will know what type of protective clothing will be needed. Next I would access the amount of mass casualty and fatality and prepare for triage. Also notify the area hospitals and connecting hospital, law enforcement and firefighters. Now I would prepare for transport of the bodies with the corrective bagging to allow for decontamination. According to Pope (2005), the decontamination process should consist of a series of procedures performed in a specific sequence. For chemical protective ensembles, outer, more heavily contaminated items (e.g., outer boots and gloves) should be decontaminated and removed first, followed by decontamination and removal of inner, less contaminated items (e.g., jackets and pants). Each procedure should be performed at a separate station in order to prevent cross contamination.
Once all of this is done I would prepare the area for cleanup and decontamination of clothing and equipment. This is also where inspection, storage and maintenance comes into play. The key to successfully handling a hazardous scene is first responders, law officials, and firefighters need to be able to communicate smoothly with an understanding under the control of the incident commander.
Reference:
Pope, M. (2005) Emergency Planning and Security Measures II, chpt 4, pp. 319

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