Because terrorist attacks and major disasters often draw emergency responders from several departments in nearby communities â€” with different operating procedures, communications systems and response plans â€” coordinating efforts to protect workers is difficult, the report says.
The study recommends having all emergency responders to an event protected under the overall Incident Command System, the standard management structure used in disaster response and called for under the newly established National Incident Management System.
This would prevent different departments from wasting valuable time trying to come up with ways to protect workers on a case-by-case basis at each emergency scene.
The report, "Protecting Emergency Responders, Volume 3: Safety Management in Disaster and Terrorism Response," is available on the NIOSH Web page.
Other recommendations in the report: