This can result in cross-contamination of the hospital, the consequences of which are potentially the loss of essential facilities and the further contamination of other unrelated victims who happened to be affected by the self-presenter. Security staff can help by advising these unintentionally contaminated, and those potentially contaminated, victims to limit their movements, and undertake proactive self-decontamination actions, in accordance with national guidance and local risk assessments.

• Restricting long-term effects and impacts by limiting further spread. The impact of the Novichok incident on businesses in Salisbury has begun to be understood, but it has been claimed that there was a dearth of information and understanding around how long the decontamination and remediation of the scene would take.

This was particularly testing as contamination spread was facilitated by the public, and by first responders during the initial response to the incident. In order to limit the contamination spread, the first security staff on the scene can help through an understanding how types of contamination spread, and of the appropriate actions to limit it spreading as much as possible.

The principles behind this are fairly simple and security staff are key enablers through advice to contaminated victims regarding limiting their movement, restricting human-to-human contact, being aware of the residual contamination left behind by victims, and

ensuring contaminated items are not removed from the scene.

Is a solution possible?

If an ‘most likely’ and ‘worst case’ threat assessment has identified the primary concerns at a location, then the procedures used by, and training of, security staff become a lot simpler. Local Counter-Terrorism Security Advisors (CTSAs) currently advise organisations how to ensure site-specific threat assessments inform response plans. It is a short step for CTSAs to include CBR-specific advice into their output, or for independent expert advice to be sought. Organisations already have training regimes that are becoming increasingly scenario-based. Therefore, incorporating site- specific threats into such a process would not be an undue burden within the routine all- hazards preparation regime.

There will always be elements of the response that are hazardous to security staff, but this is no different to any other threat they face when dealing with the myriad of problems resulting from any incident. Insufficient information around the CBR threat and response means that staff are currently being placed at risk due to an ill-defined CBR hazard. Consequently, they cannot respond intelligently, including keeping themselves as safe as is reasonably possible.

Barry Moss CSC

Chair of the Emergency Planning Society’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Professional Working Group

© CI TY S ECUR I TY MAGAZ INE – AUTUMN 2 0 1 9 www. c i t y s e c u r i t yma g a z i n e . c om

Sofia, Bulgaria - May 19, 2015: A team working with toxic acids and chemicals is approaching a chemical cargo train crash near Sofia. Teams from the Fire Department are participating in an emergency training with spilled toxic and flammable materials.

If you think someone has been exposed to a HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE

Use caution and keep a safe distance to avoid exposure yourself. TELL THOSE AFFECTED TO:


...from the immediate area to avoid further exposure to the substance. Fresh air is important.

If the skin is itchy or painful, find a water source.



…if affected by the substance.

Try to avoid pulling clothing over the head if possible.

Do not smoke, eat or drink.

Do not pull off clothing stuck to skin.

...from skin using a dry absorbent material to either soak it up or brush it off.

RINSE continually with water if the skin is itchy or painful.

REMEMBER: Exposure is not always obvious. SIGNS CAN INCLUDE:

The presence of hazardous or unusual materials.

A change in environment, such as unexplained vapour, odd smells or tastes.

Unexplained signs of skin, eye or airway irritation, nausea, vomiting, twitching, sweating, disorientation, breathing difficulties.

ACT QUICKLY. These actions can SAVE LIVES. supported by JESIP

For further information: working-groups/cbrn



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