Public Health Preparation and Response to Chemical Incident Emergencies
Many authorities recognise the health threats that exist to their citizens from chemical incidents. First responders are often well trained to deal with such threats. However, the development of chemical incident plans and protocols is most effective when they are supported by multidisciplinary and multiagency collaboration. To ensure that the interagency roles and responsibilities are understood by all parties, these plans need to be regularly tested through training exercises. Equally, a chemical incident, whilst unwelcome, provides the best opportunity to test the effectiveness of emergency plans. Such plans should always be reviewed in the light of a training exercise or actual incident and then updated accordingly so that all parties are aware of the changes. This chapter discusses the preparation and response to chemical incident emergencies, including notification and alerting, evacuation, health care, remediation and restoration after a chemical incident.