The term “First Responders” refers to teams and individuals responsible for managing the immediate and short-term effects of a CBRNe incident. This includes teams deployed in the CBRNe incident scene belonging to Police, Firefighters, Health services and Civil Protection, as well as medical staff of hospitals and crisis management institutions.
Main objective of First Responders is to minimize CBRNe incidente effects and consequences by carrying out a rapid deployment of all necessary CBRNe capabilities: Protection, Detection and Decontamination.
Saving and protecting lives is the ultimate goal of these First Responders, and CBRN Intervention Protocols should be developed for effective and efficient management of this HILP (High Impact, Low Probability) incidents.
In this sense, the “Guidelines for First Respondents to a CBRN Incident” published by the Civil Protection Group, NATO Civil Emergency Planning is one of the main references in the developed countries about the protocols and capacities with which Defense and Security Agencies and Institutions of the countries to deal with an incident with radiological, chemical (CWAs or TICs) and biological agents. Considering CBRN incident in its broadest sense: whether caused by a terrorist attack or by an accident.
This “Guidelines for First Respondents to a CBRN Incident” highlights four main phases in managing these incidents:
- Information Gathering, Assessment Dissemination
- Scene Management
- Saving and Protecting Life
- Additional/Specialist Support
CBRN protocols consider it necessary to have Decontamination Capabilities in the second, third and fourth phases.
In the second phase, for the decontamination of people and emergency materials.
In the third phase, for the decontamination of people and all their personal properties.
In the fourth phase, for the decontamination of First Responder Interverners (including their Protection equipment and vehicles), decontamination of the hospitals used to treat those affected, decontamination of the buildings and grounds of the scenario.