Protecting First Responders: Lessons Learned?

September 2014 –“Protecting First Responders: Lessons Learned?”
Donell Harvin (John Jay College of Criminal Justice) provided a compelling presentation spanning his career as an emergency responder to events from the first World Trade Center attack through the Newtown (CT) School shootings. Harvin highlighted the difficulties of assuring health and safety for first responders in the early stages of large-scale events. Establishing threats, identifying exposure levels, and obtaining and enforcing protective equipment requirements were discussed. The mental health needs of responders was also discussed, as well as the limited capacity of most organizations to interact with industrial hygienists and other in the context of an ongoing emergency operation.

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