Emergency Response to Terrorism: Operations

8 hours

The Emergency Response to Terrorism: Operations (ERT: Ops) is a one-day (8-hour) participant-centered instructor-led training program. This course focuses on emergency response to incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) using the IAFF’s risk-based response process: Analyze, Plan, Implement and Evaluate (APIE). Participants are provided in-depth information related to chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear, and explosive/incendiary weapons, signs/symptoms, types of harm, and protective actions including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Using video and resources such as the Emergency Response Guidebook, NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, and safety data sheets (SDSs), participants apply the APIE process to realistic situations involving possible WMDs. Each video begins with a dispatch and responders’ initial size-up. Participants must determine the appropriate response objectives, action options, personal protective equipment (PPE), and response personnel and equipment to mitigate the incident. After analyzing the incident and planning a response, participants report their plan and receive feedback from instructors. A follow-up video is used to illustrate implementation — this video allows participants to evaluate the progress.

Course Goal

The overall goal of the program is to train first responders at the operations level (e.g., fire fighters, emergency medical personnel, law enforcement) to ensure a safe, competent response to incidents involving WMDs, and reduce responder exposure, injury and death.

Course Objectives

Given scenarios of WMD emergencies, participants use APIE: A Risk-Based Response Process, which requires consideration of the facts, science and circumstances and to:

  • Analyze the problem
    • Identify the problem and behavior of HazMats/WMDs
  • Plan the response
    • Develop and communicate an incident action plan
  • Implement the plan
    • Observe operations and outcomes
  • Evaluate the progress
    • Assess response effectiveness

Competency levels are based on line items from NFPA® 470 Hazardous Materials/Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Standard for Responders.

Performance Measures

Participants demonstrate mastery of the course objectives by completing the post-test and scenario report-backs. The post-test includes 25 multiple choice items with items requiring the use of hazardous materials references — ERG, NIOSH Pocket Guide, safety data sheets, other locally used references. Scenarios are presented using video. Participants work in teams (or crews) to analyze the problem, plan the response, identify considerations for implementation and evaluate the progress of responders in the video. During report-backs, teams must identify the type of WMD used in the video as well as response objectives, action options and appropriate PPE.