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Homeland Security

Appendix E


1. Background

a. Technical reach back is the ability to contact technical SMEs when a technical issue exceeds the on-scene SMEs' capability. Reach back should be conducted using established unit protocols. Many of the listed reach-back resources have other primary missions and are not specifically resourced for reach back. Issues may include the following:

(1) Nonstandard Agent Identification of NBC Warfare Agents and TIM. Military responders are trained to detect and identify certain military warfare agents. If a TIM is used or is suspect, then military personnel must obtain technical information. This technical information could include persistency, medical effects, and decontamination or protection requirements.

(2) Modeling. During CM operations, the spread of contamination must be limited. Technical reach back should provide the ability for detailed analysis of the area to assist in determining downwind hazard areas and locating staging areas, operations centers, decontamination sites, etc.

(3) NBC-Agent Sample Evacuation. Sample evacuation can be an important part of CM and crisis management. Evacuation of samples can provide critical information for patient treatment and/or be used as evidence for prosecution.

(4) Hazard Prediction. Technical experts can use modeling to provide a better indication of where vapor, liquid, or aerosolized hazards may occur.

b. Reach back can be accomplished through various means, from the telephone to broadband satellites; however, information management protocols and chain of command must be followed before using any hot-line number.

2. National Response Center (NRC) and Chemical/Biological Hot Line (1-800-424-8802)

The NRC mans the hot-line service and serves as an emergency resource for first responders to request technical assistance during an incident. The hot line's intended users include trained emergency personnel such as emergency operators and first responders (i.e., firefighters, police, and emergency medical technicians who arrive at the scene of a CB terrorist incident). Other potential users may include the state's EOCs and hospitals that may treat victims of agent exposure.

a. The USCG operates the NRC and its trained operators staff the hot line seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Operators use extensive databases and reference material in addition to having immediate access to the nation's top SMEs in the field of NBC agents. NRC duty officers take reports of actual or potential domestic terrorism and link emergency calls with applicable SMEs (i.e., US Army SBCCOM, USAMRICD) for technical assistance and with the FBI to initiate the federal response actions. The NRC also provides reports and notifications to other federal agencies as necessary. Specialty areas include the following:

  • Detection equipment.

  • PPE.

  • Decontamination systems and methods.

  • Physical properties of CB agents.

  • Toxicology information.

  • Medical symptoms from exposure to CB agents.

  • Treatment of exposure to CB agents.

  • Hazard-prediction models.

  • Federal response assets.

  • Applicable laws and regulations.

b. The CB hot line is a joint effort of the USCG, FBI, FEMA, EPA, DHHS, and DOD. The NRC is the entry point for the CB hot line. The NRC receives basic incident information and links the caller to the DOD and FBI's chemical, biological, and terrorism experts. These and other federal agencies can be accessed within a few minutes to provide technical assistance during a potential CB incident. If the situation warrants, a federal response action may be initiated.

c. Use the local established policies and procedures for requesting federal assistance before contacting the CB hot line. State and local officials can access the hot line in emergency circumstances by calling 1-800-424-8802.

3. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)

DTRA can provide technical reach-back information and services for on-scene personnel. The focal/coordination point for support is through the DTRA Emergency Operation Center (1-877-244-1187). Example capabilities that the DTRA can contribute are described in Appendix D.

4. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) (301) 295-0316 or (301) 295-0530; FAX (301) 295-0227

The AFRRI can provide DOD technical support capability for nuclear/radiological incidences or accidents. See Appendix D for information on the AFRRI response-team capabilities.

5. US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) (1-888-USA-RIID)

The USAMRIID provides medical and scientific SMEs and technical guidance to commanders and senior leaders on prevention and treatment of hazardous diseases and prevention and medical management of biological casualties. The USAMRIID serves as the DOD reference center for identification of biological agents from clinical specimens and other sources. The USAMRIID can provide technical guidance for assessing and evaluating a biological terrorist incident, from initial communication of the threat through incident resolution. See Appendix D for additional information on the USAMRIID's capabilities.

6. US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) (1-800-424-8802)

The USAMRICD provides medical and scientific SMEs and technical guidance to commanders and senior leaders on prevention and treatment of chemical casualties. The USAMRICD can provide technical guidance for assessing and evaluating a chemical terrorist incident, from initial communication of the threat through incident resolution. See Appendix D for additional information on the USAMRICD's capabilities.

7. National Domestic Preparedness Office (NDPO) (202) 324-8186

The NDPO coordinates all federal efforts to assist state and local first responders with planning, training, equipment, and exercises necessary to respond to an incident as an office under the FBI/Department of Justice (DOJ). The NPDO—

a. Supports functional program areas for domestic preparedness. An improved intelligence and information-sharing apparatus underpins the services provided to the federal, state, and local responder community to distribute lessons learned, asset/capabilities information, and general-readiness knowledge.

b. Coordinates the establishment of training curriculum and standards for first-responder training to ensure consistency based upon training objectives and to tailor training opportunities to meet the needs of the responder community.

c. Facilitates and coordinates the efforts of the federal government to provide the

responder community with detection, protection, analysis, and decontamination equipment necessary to prepare for and respond to an incident involving WMD.

d. Seeks to provide state and local governments with the resources and expertise necessary to design, conduct, and evaluate exercise scenarios involving WMD.

e. Is responsible for harmonizing federal, state, and local WMD preparedness planning and policy.

f. Communicates information directly to the state and local emergency-response community through the Internet; the Law-Enforcement Online Internet; special bulletins; and The Beacon, a monthly newsletter.

g. Ensures that the health and medical community perspectives and needs are coordinated and fully incorporated into other NDPO program areas and are reflected as a priority in the overall NDPO program.

h. Contact Information:

  • Days Available: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST

  • Telephone: 202-324-8186

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