U.S. 'Dangerously Vulnerable' to WMDs - @ JEMS.com


U.S. 'Dangerously Vulnerable' to WMDs


 
 

A.J. Heightman, MPA, EMT-P, Editor-in-Chief, JEMS | | Tuesday, November 4, 2008


An independent study that recently concluded the U.S. remains "dangerously vulnerable" to chemical, biological and nuclear attacks seven years after 9/11 makes a supplement in November JEMS timely. This month, Meridian Medical Technologies presents an editorial supplement in JEMS, Fire-Rescue and Law Officer magazines on the threat of terrorism that continues to exist in the U.S. It focuses on threats via nerve, biological and radiological means, mustard agents, and explosives that release cyanide into the atmosphere.

The Response Guide For Chemical & Radiological Threats: Are We Prepared? supplement outlines each specific threat and details ways first responders can prepare for, and treat, victims -- and themselves -- when an attack occurs.

Chair of the independent group's latest study is Lee Hamilton, the former Indiana Democratic congressman who helped lead the 9/11 Commission, reported Associated Press writers Brett J. Blackledge and Eileen Sullivan. Hamilton notes that efforts to reduce access to nuclear technology and bomb-making materials have slowed, thousands of U.S. chemical plants remain unprotected, and the U.S. government continues to oppose strengthening an international treaty to prevent bioterrorism, according to the report produced by the bipartisan Partnership for a Secure America.

The group includes leaders of the disbanded 9/11 Commission, the bipartisan panel that investigated government missteps before the 2001 terror attacks. "The threat of a new, major terrorist attack on the United States is still very real," concludes the report, which was released on Sept. 11, 2008. It was released the same day a congressional commission held a hearing in New York on nuclear and biological terrorism threats.

"A nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in the hands of terrorists remains the single greatest threat to our nation. While progress has been made in securing these weapons and materials, we are still dangerously vulnerable," the report states. Both the report and studies that support its findings cite the failure of international cooperation to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction as a major problem. Many countries continue to ignore a United Nations mandate to prevent the spread of weapons, that the ability of many countries to monitor potential bioterrorism is "essentially nonexistent," and dangerous chemical weapons stockpiles remain in some countries, including Russia and Libya.

Click here to view download PDFs of the "Response Guide For Chemical & Radiological Threats: Are We Prepared?" supplement.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Leadership and Professionalism, Natural Disasters, Special Operations, WMD and Terrorism

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Mayor Adds Ambulances to Peak Demand Period

10 additional ambulances will be on the streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Utah Commission Privatizes Ambulance Service

Mayors in Iron County loose management fight.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Delay Raises Concerns over Response Times

Officers give up after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Memphis Struggles to Keep Firefighters and Paramedics

Cost of training rises as the turnover rate of personnel increases.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Carry during Snowstorm

Firefighters, medics and officers lend a hand in Halifax.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Terror Attack in Tunisia

19 people killed outside of a museum.
More >