Decontamination operations are a business-as-usual task for most hazmat teams and other first responders. But not when there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of victims and the responders themselves are in danger of being contaminated.
Pascagoula ceremonies celebrate a major upgrading of the USCG's ability to carry out its homeland-defense and national-security missions both on the high seas and in the waters close to the U.S. mainland.
U.S. law-enforcement agencies at all levels of government are gearing up to deal with a possibly nationwide outbreak of terrorist attacks similar to those that have already terrified London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai, and - most of all - Baghdad.
The Coast Guard men and women on the scene 24/7 throughout the U.S. maritime domain are the service's true front-line forces in the prevention of CBRNE attacks. They need more and better equipment, though, and a lot more training. Starting yesterday.
From Nero's time to the present, the firefighter's primary mission has been to put out the fire. When weapons of mass destruction are added to the matrix, that mission becomes much more difficult and, not incidentally, much more lethal as well.
Establishment, at the national level, of a new ICS (Incident Command System) protocol gives first responders the opportunity not to change their crime-scene priorities, but to keep them in better balance.
When the nation's armed services and law-enforcement agencies pool their resources and personnel the result is almost always more missions accomplished, more effectively, and at lower cost to U.S. taxpayers.
Emergency Management Assistance Compacts between neighboring states represent a major step forward along the path to regional security. The next step could and perhaps should be the establishment of a national domestic constabulary.
Local and regional hazmat teams now serve at the forward edge of the homeland-defense forces responding to incidents involving the use or potential presence of toxic agents. How are these front-line heroes trained - and who trains them?