Protecting Emergency Responders - Vol. 2

Protecting Emergency Responders - Vol. 2

Protecting Emergency Responders - Vol. 2

Protecting Emergency Responders - Vol. 2


Examines the hazards that emergency responders face and the personal protective technology needed to contend with those hazards.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is very pleased to have made possible this report conveying community views of health and safety risks and the personal protective needs for emergency responders. These views of occupational hazards and personal protective needs, gathered from emergency responders, will play a central role in NIOSH's continuing efforts to better protect our nation's emergency responders though improved technology, education, and training.

Niosh is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related disease and injury. Created by Congress in 1970 with the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Institute is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to provide national and world leadership in preventing work-related illness, injury, and death by pursuing the strategic goals of surveillance, research, occupational disease and injury prevention, and information and training.

In fiscal year 2001, Congress allocated funds for niosh to establish a new program for personal protective technology research to protect the nation's miners, firefighters and other emergency responders, and health care, agricultural, and industrial workers. To carry out this research, niosh formed the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL). the Laboratory's mission, like the mission of its parent organization, is to provide world, national, and Institute leadership for prevention and reduction of occupational disease, injury, and death but with special emphasis on those workers who rely on personal protective technologies.

The npptl is engaged in an active program of research, standards development, and information dissemination. Recently, the Laboratory developed test methods and standards for self-contained breathing apparatus and gas masks that could be used in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear terrorist attack. the tragic events of September 11, 2001, underscore the signifi-

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