First Responder Radiological Preparedness

New Roman"”>  Show appropriate personal protective equipment; and

·  Provide realistic radiological readings that responders may see during a response.

These are available on S&T’s website and also on the RadResponder platform.

Training the nation
S&T’s NUSTL is working with several organizations to disseminate the key missions and tactics of the Guidance as well as the animations to responders across the nation. On the immediate horizon are:

1.                The development of a train-the-planner course for emergency planners training federal personnel located regionally across the country who support state and local activities;

2.                The publication of templated RDD detonation exercise materials that first responders, Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CSTs) and other partners can use individually or collaboratively.

On the first effort, S&T’s NUSTL, FEMA’s National Training and Education Division, and the Counterterrorism Operations Support Center for Radiological Nuclear Training are designing a training specifically for emergency planners who are generally responsible for writing and organizing emergency response plans for local communities. This train-the-planner course will be offered as a mobile course and yield the basis of an RDD response plan for a local community. This course will be piloted in the coming year before it is finalized within the FEMA course catalog in 2021.

“Partnering with other agencies to develop and deliver the train-the-planner course brought together expertise from across the nation to ensure the training course will meet the objectives,” said James Dansby, Program Manager at FEMA.

S&T’s NUSTL is also executing two-day train-the-trainer sessions in all eight of the DOE Radiological Assistant Program (RAP) regions. Working with BNL and DOE NNSA, the first day of this training allows representatives in each RAP region to receive training on the Guidance, and on the second day they help the S&T’s NUSTL project team to train regional representatives from their federal, state and local jurisdictions on the key response missions and tactics they learned about on the previous day. This effort will create a cadre who can support state and local understanding of the science behind the RDD Response Guidance for planning purposes. All sessions are scheduled to be complete by August 2019.

Dan Blumenthal, Consequence Management Program Manager at DOE NNSA said, “I wanted to make sure the RDD Response Guidance is being adopted at the state and local levels, and that all their questions are being answered. One way to do that is making sure RAP teams are up to speed.”

Lastly, S&T’s NUSTL is partnering with Idaho National Laboratory to develop standardized exercise templates for RDD detonation responses that can be used by the National Guard Bureau 57 WMD-CSTs across the country in their required training and exercises, in conjunction with state and local partners. Providing standardized training and exercise procedures, rooted in sound scientific principles and practices from the Guidance will support local radiological preparedness and encourage interagency coordination for radiological/nuclear response and recovery. These templated exercises will be available to state and local partners in 2020.

Publishing the RDD Response Guidance is a big step forward in ensuring that state and local first responders have a solid scientific basis of the hazard and an easy-to-adopt method of planning for the initial response. But publishing guidance documents is not enough, and S&T’s NUSTL and its partners will continue working to ensure the recommendations are further integrated into training courses, exercise design documents and national response protocols. True preparedness for radiological emergencies comes from good coordination and communication between agencies and protocols at the local, state and federal levels, and S&T’s NUSTL will continue to execute research and development projects that, while focusing on supporting first responder radiological capabilities, benefit a comprehensive capability across agencies and levels of government.