Expanding the Quarantine System at the Nation's Borders

by Mathew Thomas -

The need for quarantine stations at U.S. borders was on the decline - until SARS & bioterrorism created a need for more stations on a continuing basis. Dulles International Airport (first one), has achieved much success & is a template for future use.

Resources in Waiting: EMS Task Forces

by Joseph Cahill -

"Just in Case" has been trumped by "Just in Time." One result is that there is no surge capability that emergency managers can call on in times of major incidents. Unless, of course, an EMS Task Force is waiting in the wings.

The Well-Planned Use of Citizen Volunteers

by Joseph Cahill -

Many first-responder agencies routinely use "4x4 volunteers" to help out in hazardous-weather situations and other emergencies. This solution to community problems must be handled with care and requires careful planning by state/local decision makers.

The Rationale for a Pessimistic Preparedness Planning Scenario

by Michael Allswede -

For most U.S. hospitals, planning for a mass-casualty disaster is an administrative afterthought. The result, frequently, is a counterproductive "game plan" based on rosy optimism and unproven assumptions.

The Either/Or Dilemma: Hard Choices Ahead in Materials Management

by Joseph Cahill -

Preparing for an emergency is like packing for a long trip: Focus on the essentials first, and always consider the possibility of a worst-case scenario. Unfortunately, some communities and hospitals are making cost reductions their highest priority.

Personnel Staffing in Times of Disaster

by Joseph Cahill -

Three modes of operation, two of which might strain the trained EMS personnel resources immediately available but would not overwhelm them. Preparing for the third mode, a sudden mass-casualty scenario, must be done carefully and thoughtfully.

Needed: A Comprehensive Medical Intelligence Picture

by Asha M. George -

Defeating the threat posed by biological weapons requires a mountain of relevant information, collated and translated into actionable data, and distributed to a broad spectrum of potential users.

IEDs, RDDs, and Other Improvised Hazards

by Joseph Cahill -

When it seems likely that explosives have been used in a mass-casualty incident or "event," the personnel responding must remember that additional, and bigger, explosions might soon follow and that they, the first responders, may be the target.

Wicked Problems, Virtuous Solutions: How to Design a Risk-Based Medical Facility

by Michael Allswede -

The setting of national standards for the personal protective equipment worn and training received by first responders working in a hazardous-materials environment is a positive step forward.

The EMS Community Looks to the Future

by Joseph Cahill -

The era of "us versus them" is over. In times of disasters affecting the entire local population, all private-sector as well as public agencies must pool their resources in a common effort.