Practical Experiences in Developing Nuclear/Radiological Incident Awareness and Response Training

J.J. Lanza (Florida Department of Health)

The events of September 11, 2001, have forever changed the roles and responsibilities of emergency-response personnel at all levels of government and in the private sector. The feasibility of nuclear/radiological incidents is added to that of chemical, biological, and explosive events that have already occurred. Nuclear/radiological incidents can be broadly categorized as naturally occurring, man-made accidental, or man-made intentional. The most likely events include radiological material dispersion, improvised nuclear device detonation, or nuclear reactor accidents or terrorist incidents. It is well known that the general public, including many emergency responders, has a variety of misperceptions and a general lack of knowledge about radiation and its effects. This presentation will review how a nuclear/radiological incident awareness and response training program was developed in the State of Florida. In addition, the role of local health physicists in providing practical hands-on training using equipment from the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Defense Equipment Reuse (HDER)Program will be presented.

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