ABSTRACT

Biothreat Response: Local Emergency Response Efforts for Suspicious and Unknown Substances   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "In 2001, the United States faced two attacks that ultimately changed how emergency responders mitigate and recover from terrorism events: the devastating attacks of 9/11 and a case known as Amerithrax, in which letters tainted with anthrax were mailed to media outlets and politicians. While the nation was initially unprepared to take on a biological weapon of mass destruction such as anthrax, government agencies and first responders collaborated to overcome this silent adversary, and the FBI closed its Amerithrax investigation in 2010. This thesis presents a historical analysis of Amerithrax to assess how the federal and state resources that were developed with this case have affected the nation's preparedness for future weapons-of-mass-destruction attacks with a biological nexus. The analysis shows that, as a result of Amerithrax, response agencies adopted laws and procedures to standardize equipment, training, investigative methods, and emergency preparedness and response efforts. Furthermore, the thesis analyzes policies of local law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical response teams, showing that local decision-makers have failed to take the same posture as their state and federal partners, which weakens their response capabilities. Finally, the thesis compares efforts in the United States to efforts of foreign governments and provides recommendations to help local agencies respond more successfully to cases involving suspicious and unknown substances."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2019-12
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
Source:
Cohort NCR1703/1704
URL:
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