Chemical/Nuclear Terrorism: A Guide for First Responders, 2nd Edition
Bruce, Jim, Canadian Journal of Public Health
Chemical/Nuclear Terrorism: A Guide for First Responders, 2nd Edition Imaginatics Publishing, Springfield, IL 2003; 112 pp.
This short book is a pocket reference for first responders (police, fire and ambulance services) and emergency room caregivers reacting to a terrorist attack using the most likely chemical weapons. It describes the most common and most lethal nerve, blister and choking agents in easy-to-read terms. The book also contains general information and instructions for a response to attacks involving the use of nuclear substances.
This guide, with its all-weather (plastic-coated) pages and novel front cover - the index - is well formatted for first responders. All sections of the book are listed on the front cover with a corresponding colour-coded tab to allow for quick access to the required information. Each section contains a list of the chemical agents in each category and their exposure pathways. In the case of nerve agents, the antidote is given. This is followed by guidance on personal protection and emergency actions (and signs and symptoms), for pre-hospital and hospital treatment of contaminated patient by category of agent. Recommended laboratory tests and follow-up treatments are also given by category.
Tab 1 - Chemical Contents provides a very useful "Quick Reference of Possible Signs & Symptoms" to alert first responders and health care professionals to the possibility of illness due to an attack using chemical agents. It also contains the United States Government's Terrorist Advisory System. This colour-coded alerting system is not used in Canada. It should be removed by Canadian users to avoid confusion.
Tab 2 - General Preparedness appears to be mistitled. It does not address essential topics inherent in emergency preparedness, such as threat and risk analysis, resource assessment, detailed planning, and training to be prepared for such attacks. This Tab could more correctly be titled Initial Response. The information in Tab 2 would be adequate if intended as a quick guide for a trained first responder arriving on the scene. …