Office for Domestic Preparedness: Emergency Responder Guidelines
Recent tragic events have forced the citizens of the United States, and the public safety agencies that serve them, to confront the terrible potential of terrorism involving the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). A chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear, or explosive/ incendiary attack would pose unprecedented challenges for police, fire, emergency medical service, and emergency management personnel—the nation’s first line of defense. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) was established in 1998 to help provide training to first responders across the nation as part of an integrated program that also includes the provision of specialized equipment, exercises, and technical assistance. The objective of those efforts, each of which contributes to the greater whole, is to enhance responder capacity. To help provide America’s response community with a baseline understanding of the training necessary to effectively and safely respond to an act of terrorism involving the use of WMD, the ODP has prepared these Emergency Responder Guidelines.