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In 2014, the world was concerned about the largest historical outbreak of the Ebola Virus happening in West Africa. This led to
significant concerns about readiness to manage those who were potentially infected. In the United States, prehospital care providers
were scrambling to prepare and desperate for directions they could rely on. This caught many decision makers by surprise and eager
to understand why the public health community was seemingly unprepared. With some investigation, it quickly became apparent
that the issue was directly correlated to the absence of a solid general understanding of infection prevention and control (IPC)
practices among first responders and, surprisingly, public health officials. A rapid solution to this problem was essential, but there
were no obvious leaders taking the charge, so a small team from Emergency Products & Research (EP+R), of Kent, Ohio, stepped
forward. Working with other industry professionals and seeking advice from academia, EP+R launched an initiative that evolved into
AMBUstat™, which is a program designed to introduce a common sense approach to IPC that can be easily and cost-effectively rolled
out around the globe. The AMBUstat™ portable biological decontamination system, a key component of the AMBUstat™ program,
was designed for ease-of-use, minimal training requirements and environmental consciousness. With the AMBUstat™ program, IPC
is easy to understand and it provides the potential for a global platform that enables us to be ready for the next biological threat, with
the most important aspect being a critical focus on proactive rather than reactive strategies.
Jason A Thompson has been involved in public health since 1993, primarily revolving around the delivery of prehospital emergency medical care. He discovered his calling in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman and has subsequently employed those skills as an emergency medical technician, healthcare administrator, medicolegal analyst and product development consultant. Jason has a passion for problem-solving and making the world a safer place, whether it is educating scouts in advanced first aid, instructing first responders on the use of lifesaving strategies, designing remote medical care programs and, of course, advocating for improvements in public health, specifically responsible hygienic practices.