Author(s): Kelly CD, Egan C, Cirino NM
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Abstract The terrorist events of 2001 brought to light the need for a close working relationship between the first responder communities and the public health laboratories in New York State (NYS). Since 2002, the Wadsworth Center's Biodefense Laboratory (BDL) has been providing outreach training to first responders in New York, to enable them to respond safely, correctly, and confidently to biothreat events. A pocket trifold was developed, titled "CODE RED," which describes sampling protocols, risk analysis criteria, and important contact information for use during an emergency response to a potential bioterrorism situation. In addition, the BDL has provided training to more than 1,000 first responders in the basic knowledge of biothreat agents, routes of dissemination, sampling and decontamination methods, contamination control protocols, biothreat risk assessment, and legal chain of custody procedures. The training methods have been established for use by first responders wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). All states can benefit from highly trained first responders who are capable of efficient, safe, and effective biothreat response, resulting in increased safety of the first responders and laboratorians, as well as decreased turnaround times for laboratory results. The CODE RED trifold provides a working model for training first responders at the state and county levels for emergency biothreat response.
This article was published in Biosecur Bioterror
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense