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Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 4

Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 4: Personal Protective Equipment Guidelines for Structural Collapse Events

Henry H. Willis
Nicholas G. Castle
Elizabeth M. Sloss
James T. Bartis
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 112
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  • Book Info
    Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 4
    Book Description:

    This monograph serves as a technical source for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) incident commander guidelines for emergency response immediately following large structural collapse events. It gives guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE), focusing on required modifications to responders' typical PPE ensembles because of the duration of response and the need to prevent exposures to likely hazards from pathogens, airborne dusts, and gaseous hazardous materials.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4102-9
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. Glossary
    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The unprecedented collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers on September 11, 2001, has led to a number of initiatives to evaluate the preparedness of the United States to respond to future disasters. In particular, many in the emergency response community have expressed concern that the personnel who responded to the unfolding events at the WTC were not adequately outfitted with personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for the long and strenuous rescue and recovery campaign. During the first days, quantitative monitoring data were not available to inform PPE selection. As the response continued, conflicting hazard assessments and directives for...

  10. CHAPTER TWO The Need for PPE Guidelines: Learning from the WTC Tragedy
    (pp. 5-10)

    On September 11, 2001, two commercial aircraft were purposefully crashed into the World Trade Center towers. Each aircraft weighed approximately 200 tons and was traveling at about 470 miles per hour. The collisions fractured many of the perimeter support columns of the buildings, presumably weakening the structures. In each case, the aircraft’s fuel supply ignited. The intense fire spread down the sides of the buildings, throughout the nearby floors and down interior elevator shafts to lower floors.

    Almost immediately, the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) and other emergency workers responded to the attacks and initiated rescue...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Characterization of Post–Structural Collapse Hazards
    (pp. 11-36)

    Partial or complete collapse of a multistory building creates an environment characterized by a diverse array of hazards. The specific hazards present will be determined by the cause of the collapse (e.g., structural failure, earthquake, explosion), the magnitude of the failure (i.e., size of the building and completeness of the collapse), building contents and materials, building use and on-site chemical storage, and weather conditions during and immediately following the collapse. These factors combine to create a mix of physical, chemical, and biological hazards in the postcollapse environment. While the hazards at any given collapse will depend on specific circumstances of...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Emergency Response to Structural Collapses
    (pp. 37-46)

    The hazards emergency responders face at a structural collapse are determined by the activities they engage in and their location at the event. The personnel involved in a structural collapse response will be highly dependent on the type of event. In general, eight categories of personnel will be involved in most responses to a large structural collapse:


    law enforcement officers

    EMS responders

    USAR or technical rescue personnel

    emergency managers

    skilled support personnel, including construction, trade services, utility, transit, public works, and other private-sector workers

    employees of federal, state, and local response support, public health, or other agencies

    volunteers, both...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Guidelines for Emergency Responders’ PPE Ensembles
    (pp. 47-62)

    Ultimately, emergency responders assist in a building collapse event to save lives and protect the public. Protecting these responders and not exposing them to unnecessary hazards are of primary importance to achieving this mission. Many of the hazards that responders face at a building collapse event—such as those from falling objects or unstable surfaces—are the same as those present at more routine emergency response incidents. However, as described in Chapter Three, responders will face other hazards that are unique to tall-building collapse events. Based on this characterization, the guidelines focus on three issues that present unique challenges to...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Logistics, Use, and Maintenance Issues at a Structural Collapse
    (pp. 63-68)

    Selecting and purchasing appropriate PPE is only one step of ensuring responder safety during the response to a multistory-building collapse. Although this monograph focuses on PPE, site safety management must account for several other factors. For example, the equipment must also be quickly available and be used correctly. All emergency responders need to know where to get PPE, how to don it, what maintenance is required during use, when and how to clean or replace it, and any limitations of the equipment that could place the responder in harm’s way. These factors have implications for PPE: (1) supply and logistics,...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Remaining Challenges for Protecting Emergency Responders at Multistory-Building Collapse Events
    (pp. 69-72)

    The analysis and recommendations in the preceding chapters are based on available data on potential exposures and health effects associated with a post–structural collapse environment. The guidelines derived from these data provide a framework for emergency response planners to manage training, PPE selection, and supply logistics in emergency preparedness efforts. However, it is perhaps just as important that this analysis highlights where the greatest uncertainties exist around protecting emergency responders in post–structural collapse environments.

    Perhaps the most significant uncertainties following a multistory-building collapse are the composition and magnitude of the hazards present in the postcollapse environment. This issue...

  16. APPENDIX Advisory Board Membership and Participants in Project Review Workshops
    (pp. 73-74)
  17. References
    (pp. 75-83)