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RAND-NIOSH STUDY SAYS NEW APPROACH NEEDED TO PROTECT EMERGENCY RESPONDERS IN TERRORIST ATTACKS AND DISASTERS

Better planning, training, coordination and management procedures are needed to protect emergency responders at the scene of terrorist attacks and disasters, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The study proposes a new approach that would make protecting the health and safety of emergency responders – including police, firefighters and ambulance crews – a key priority in coordinating the overall response to terrorist attacks and major disasters. Currently, each agency that sends emergency responders to an incident takes responsibility for safeguarding its own workers. Because terrorist attacks and major disasters often draw emergency responders from several departments in nearby communities – with different operating procedures, communications systems and response plans – coordinating efforts to protect workers is difficult, the report says. Full Story

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