"The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is enhancing its Hazardous Materials (HazMat) Response Teams with local fire department decontamination capabilities, fire district decontamination companies, and hospital decontamination companies to provide the entire State (rural and urban areas) with access to fully equipped HazMat teams and mass decontamination capabilities. In the event of a chemical, biological, or radiological attack, a phased response system will be activated to provide for the decontamination of large numbers of people in a manner that maintains control of the incident, reduces harm to exposed persons, and prevents the spread of the agent by contaminated persons. This Rapid Response System (RRS) relies on the immediate initiation of decontamination by local first responders, who are supported by a phased decontamination response that provides the local jurisdiction with the ability to access, decontaminate, and treat exposed persons, including those who cannot extricate themselves or be safely extricated. The RRS also provides for a decontamination capability at hospital facilities that may receive patients from the local emergency medical service or by self-transportation. The concept introduced by Massachusetts is one approach that is being implemented at the State and local levels to prepare emergency responders to safely and effectively respond to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism incidents. As the Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) learns of new or innovative approaches, it will publish a State and Local Approaches bulletin to share that information with other jurisdictions that might be looking for solutions to similar problems. ODP has not evaluated these approaches, and the sharing of the information should not be interpreted as an endorsement. Those interested in the specific details of this approach should contact the project director identified at the end of the bulletin."
Office for Domestic Preparedness: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/