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1. It is often said that prevention is better than cure and going by this maxim it can be ensured that following a good daily routine is the best possible way to avoid any undesired circumstances. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a good routine and that would serve as the best possible disaster response. However, it is not to suggest that disaster response equipments and trainings are not handy, in fact they are prime necessities, but it is simply to suggest that it is better to be safe. From a personal experience it can be stated that regularly checking the efficiency of the fire alert system does not ensure fire but it surely helps to reduce the damage caused by fire during such incident as it is possible to act immediately due to alarm during such an incident.
2. The EMS Incident Command System was a part of the fire service but now it is an independent and specialized operational force constructed to help other agencies like law enforcement, fire and hospital on emergency basis. EMS Incident Command System normally employs a team consisting of two members to help the other agencies during an emergency. They provide paramedical assistance along with other skills including fire fighting.
3. It should be noted that even though there are several differences, "dirty bomb" explosion detonated by a terrorist organization, nuclear power plant explosion and large nuclear explosions are all concerns of emergency response agencies. They result in death and peril depening on the causalities and all of them are responsible for contamination. However, the scale differs by a large margin. A "dirty bomb" explosion can cause harm to nearly 100 people at a time and the emergency response in this case would ensure decontamination and recovery of patients. Causalities in this case would include death, burn and injury and thus the treatment would follow accordingly. The hot zone and warm zone may vary from 50 to 150 yards. In case of a nuclear power plant explosion the level of causality may rise up to 1500 and radiation and contamination are serious issues in this case. Treatment will fundamentally be based on several types of injuries including decontamination process. However, in case of a large nuclear explosion the scale of operation shoots up. The area of hot zone may cover a radius of 3-4 km and the warm zone may vary from 20-60 km depending on the terrain and geological features. The death toll is usually very high and can reach up to 2-3 million lives. The treatments chiefly include burn and decontamination.
4. During triage activity for mass casualty chemical incidents hot zone refers to the main area of contamination while warm zone denotes the area encircling the hot zone and it is the decontamination area and cold zone is the area which is safe for the common. While hot and warm area requires proper training for entrance, cold zone has no need for such training.
Hot and warm zones need protective equipments while cold zone can work with other specialized tools if needed. The hhot zone requires standard operation procedures including preplanning and fast removal of patients from the zone. Spine immobilization and ventilatory support are prime concern in hot zone. Airway control is also necessary. The warm zone is a place of medical care, immediate care for team members who are injured during the rescue. Cold zone is for clean patient triage and destination planning including providing transportation facilities. Adequate decontamination is ensured in this zone.
5. Readings from the United States Fire Association on Bonfire collapse and Amtrak train derailment reveals two common themes found in these two very different incidents. In both the cases it was found that statutory regulations were not followed accordingly. In the case of Bonfire collapse it was found that the collapse occurred due to oversized stacking of logs. The university allowed a height of 55 feet but the students stacked 5000 logs that reached a height of about 60 feet. The same irregularities with norms were overlooked in the case of Amtrak train derailment. It is mandatory to reduce the speed of the train during a curve but it was observed that there was no reduction of speed in this case.
Another very important aspect that comes out of the two incidents is the lack of attention and thereby negligence of duty during the course of action. Amtrak train derailment happened because the driver was not attentive enough to watch for the curves and in the case of Bonfire collapse the students were simply enjoying themselves.
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