Chemical Attack on the Super Bowl
HSM 320: Emergency Response to Terrorism
Chemical Attack on the Super Bowl
The New England Patriots are taking on the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl, located in the Louisiana Superdome. The Superdome’s capacity for a football game is approximately 72,000; and the stadium is packed to capacity with excited football fans.At the beginning of the second quarter fans report a bitter almond smell coming from both the men and women’s bathrooms. Hydrogen cyanide (HCN), a colorless gas form of cyanide, has been released into the stadium via the vents in the Stadium bathrooms. Fans that have visited the bathrooms are experiencing the worst symptoms, while all fans and players are beginning to display symptoms of cyanide poisoning.Create a recovery plan based on this scenario, which is specific to a chemical attack. Address all of the necessary criteria for the Recovery Plan as it relates to this chemical scenario.
- State your selected emergency response scenario.
Simple or complex a chemical attack carried out at a large gathering such as the Super Bowl can have detrimental effects, but these effects can be mitigated by immediate responses from local and federal responders.
- Thesis Statement
Hydrogen cyanide is a colorless gas when temperatures are above 78 degrees and is categorized as an asphyxiate. Used as a chemical warfare agent, cyanide can be rapidly fatal and affects organ systems most sensitive to low oxygen levels. These organ systems include the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and pulmonary system. Symptoms of cyanide can include but are not limited to light headedness, rapid breathing, nausea, vomiting, feeling of suffocation, and anxiety. When administered by an air system, the only effective antidote is sodium thiosulfate. (CDC, 2015).
- Background of Hydrogen Cyanide
Police: Upon initial notification of a chemical attack, a perimeter surrounding the stadium would need to be established. All patrons inside the dome would need to be required to remain inside, all air ventilation systems would need to be turned off so the spread of the contaminated air is minimized. All gates surrounding the stadium will need to be closed to keep patrons contained. Immediate notification to state and federal agencies and hazmat crews would need to be made to expedite response times and treatment of those affected. All surrounding hospitals put on notification to accept patients affected and suffering from side effects.
- Local agencies response
Emergency call centers will immediately being the notifications to the local Federal Bureaus of Investigation (FBI) office, Office of Emergency Management (OEM), and health department of incident and all current details. Updates will be administered to all responders immediately as details become available.
Fire:Immediately upon arrival an Incident Command System (ICS) must be set up with the fire chief as incident commander until other resources arrived and would take control of the incident. Safety zones would need to be established and those exiting the affected area would need to be held so that their account of the incident could be recorded. Multiple stage areas would need to be determined, consisting of hot, warm, cold, and safe areas, starting at contamination site and moving outwards.
Hazmat:Hazmat teams will need to immediately set up decontamination areas connected with entry and exit areas of the stadium in order to maximize efficiency of decontaminating those affected. Initial hazmat response will be from local hazmat teams until arrival of state and federal assets. (Department of the Army, 2000).
E. State agency response
State agencies will work closely with local agencies of the same nature to support the response and recovery efforts. Agencies that would respond to this type of incident include but are not limited to emergency response units and responder organizations, public health organizations, and state level offices from the U.S. Office of Emergency Preparedness and Department of Health and Human Services. (CDC, 2000).
National Guard:Specialized National Guard assets will be mobilized in order to supplement law enforcement as well as decontamination efforts as needed. Mobilization would be required by the Governor of the state as these assets are controlled by this office, as a state of emergency would be declared.
Government offices:State level government offices and the office of the Governor would need to declare immediate state of emergency resulting in mobilization of state wide recovery and response assets. Governor should in turn file for National State of Emergency services from the President of the United States which would result in mobilization of numerous federally aided response teams, as well as financial aid.
F. Federal agency response
National State of Emergency: response from federally aided organizations would need to be conducted upon the approval for a National State of Emergency by the President of the United States. If ordered some assets responding could include but not be limited to the FBI for investigative purposes, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assess if incident was an act of terrorism or criminal act, and other various military assets specialized in response and recovery tactics.
FBI: The FBI is the lead agency for responding to acts of domestic terrorism with state and local governments providing assistance as necessary. Some facets of response include but are not limited to measures to identify, acquire, and plan the use of resources to anticipate, prevent or resolve a threat or act of terrorism.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): FEMA is the lead agency for consequence management. This role entails the dealing with preparedness and consequences of a terrorist incident. FEMA implements the Federal Response Plan (FRP), coordinating with state and local emergency response agencies. (DOD, 1998).
G. Annexes / Attachments
All diagrams, attachments, or annexes will be provided in this section to include decontamination diagrams, floor plans of building, and over view map with staging areas. Equipment requirement guidelines will also be placed in this section.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2000). Biological and Chemical Terrorism: Strategic Plan for Preparedness and Response. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr4904a1.htm
This document provides communication systems, partnerships and implementation, as well as recommendations for overall preparedness and response to a chemical incident.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015). Hydrogen Cyanide (AC): Systemic Agent. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/emergencyresponsecard_29750038.html
This source is a compilation of characteristics, decontamination methods, and other first responder needs in order to respond to such an attack.
Department of the Army. (2000). Guidelines for Responding to a Chemical Weapons Incident. Retrieved from http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/cwirp_guidelines.pdf
This document contains protocol procedures for all aspects of response to a chemical weapon incident. Decontamination diagrams, guidelines for actions and responsibilities are also taken from this guide. Document will also serve as one of the main information providers for recovery plan.
Department of Defense (DOD). (1998). Integrating National Guard and Reserve Component Support for Response to Attacks Using Weapons of Mass Destruction. Retrieved from http://www.dod.gov/pubs/wmdresponse/index.html#TOChttp://www.dod.gov/pubs/wmdresponse/index.html#TOC
This document provides response capabilities by National Guard and Reserve units of the U.S. Military. This source also covers integrated response concepts as well as other federal response elements specializing in these types of attacks.
Maniscalco, P.M. & Christen, H.T. (2011). Homeland security principles and practice of terrorism response. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. ISBN: 9780763757854
This source is the text book for this class and will be used to outline multiple response procedures, decontamination capabilities, and protective equipment.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (N.D.). Specifications and Floor Plans. Retrieved from http://www.mbsuperdome.com/assets/doc/Superdome-Specs-Floorplan-102915.pdf
This website will provide specifics of Superdome ranging from total space, electrical and utilities availability, as well as loading areas and entrances.
Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (N.D.). Floor Plans and Maps. Retrieved from http://www.mbsuperdome.com/book-your-event/facility-specs-floor-plans
This website provides all levels of floor plans for facility and maps of each level to include restrooms throughout building.
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