Perception of Fire Department's Ability to Adequately Respond to Domestic Chemical Attacks - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Term paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1851 Words
Date:  2021-06-08

In this research proposal, the perception of the fire department's ability to adequately respond to a chemical attack in a local city will form the basis of the discussion. The research proposal outlines the various research study design methods to tackle the research problem, giving the possible results that will be expected once the research is conducted. There is also the literature review section that discusses some of the major areas of concern for the effective response by the fire department team. Furthermore, it identifies the impacts of diversity, ethics and cultural competency on decision-making process relevant to our study. Additionally, it highlights effective communication styles, techniques and collaborative measures that have positively or negatively impacted the development of relationships, partnerships, and alliances. Finally, the research proposal examines some of the ethical and legal issues that are essential during the investigation of the project.

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Research Proposal

Title of the Research Project

The title of this research project is: "We Are Ready: A Study into the Perception of local Fire Department's Ability to Adequately Respond to Domestic Chemical Attacks."

Research Problem

Chemical attacks, especially those that involve toxic chemicals are a major challenge for many local fire departments combat, either from foreign or domestic enemies. A chemical attack can be deliberate or accidental and the preparedness of the local fire department team determines the extent of the dangers that such an attack can cause, anywhere it happens. It is, therefore, vital that local fire department teams identify the possible signs of the chemical attacks and respond to them immediately to prevent a major catastrophe. Chemical attacks are threats to all human life and property. This study will give a glimpse into the ways that local fire departments currently prepare for, evaluate and combat chemical attacks. Also, this study will seek to determine the level of training and the availability of necessary equipment that local firefighters need to prevent and fight chemical attacks.

Significance of the Problem

Ever since the cold war, there have always been the threats of nuclear warfare. However, today, the threat of chemical attacks looms heavily. This study is being done to determine if, at the local level, such attacks can be and are being handled, adequately and efficiently, by the local fire department personnel. The best way of determining whether or not that can be done is to gather information as to the current perceptions of those who are on the front lines, whose responsibility it will be to deal with and combat such attacks. This study will also help to explain how prepared the fire department team is to handle any form of chemical attack. It will also identify what those firefighters consider their most important tools for combating chemical attacks, as well as the availability and proper application of various pieces of equipment like the chemical-defense ensembles, protective hoods, chemical garments (jackets and pants), protective gloves and masks that are essential for use during a chemical attack. The equipment that can be utilized by the firefighters to identify chemical agents in the immediate area includes the nuclear magnetic resonance equipment that identifies the chemical structure found in pharmaceuticals and narcotics, the oxygen transmission rate measuring equipment and the CHN- element analyzer which determines the chemical composition of a given area.

Additionally, it is important to critically understand the topic so as to be able to identify the strategic plans already in place to counter any occurrences and to be able to solve problems that are related to fear. For example, it is believed that because of the inadequacies of tools and equipment capable of detecting chemical attack especially by nerve agents, firefighters fear risking their lives and therefore should take precaution (Lance, 2013).Furthermore, there is a need to understand and critically examine partner groups that will always be available to contribute their efforts in reversing the situations ones they hit. Aspects like communication transfer between the people, fire specialists and concerned partners are significant in ensuring immediate response limiting the extent of terror coverage (Ali et al. 2000). Lastly, the study will also deal with how able the general public is for a chemical attack and the possible consequences that may follow after the assault (Kassebacher et al. 2013)

Benefits of the Research Project

This study is necessary to address the perceptions of local firefighters' abilities to adequately deal with or minimize damages during the chemical attacks. The literature would suggest that being able to stop the chemical attacks before they spread to a larger area reduces the losses that would happen (Hashimoto et al. 2013). The hope is that this study will bring to light whether local firefighters are adequately prepared or not, based on their perceptions, to handle any type chemical attack from either a foreign or domestic source. In the end, the study can be used by local fire officials, city officials in determining whether the preparedness protocols currently in place are adequate or need to be changed, as ascertained by those are responsible for combating such attacks. Through the interviews with firefighters, the loopholes and problems with current training, equipment, and protocol can be identified. Perhaps a future risk reduction can be achieved through the identification of the causes of chemical attacks, and how firefighters can reduce those risks; or at a minimum reducing the hazards or results of such attacks. When firefighters are confident that their training, equipment, and protocols for chemical attacks are at or above the adequate stage, then, presumably the residents of the city can be assured of their safety during a possible chemical attack, and thus preventing the loss of life and property. Besides the significance to the fire specialist, the research is of much importance to the citizens. People need to be aware of various impacts of chemicals in case of an attack and actions they should employ to ensure their safety as not all of them can be protected by the firefighters. They are the next people who should pass information to the specialist in case of any occurrence and therefore should be aware of the right communication techniques for the purpose of understanding. Finally, the intelligence departments should also benefit since they are the first concerned people who should stop the act at an early stage before it reaches the citizens.

Literature Review

In the dawn of March 1995, the first Sarin chemical attack occurred on the Tokyo subway followed by the Anthrax attack in the year 2001in America. A couple of days after the September 11 attacks, two U.S Senators and several media offices received letters containing spores of anthrax . This biological terror incident ended up claiming 5 lives and infecting 17 others (Debora, 2009). As a result of the two historical occurrences, the government and public developed a view of the rising potential of terrorist attack on the American soil. The situation called for the need for preparedness on the side of the people and the specialists themselves.

Conceivably, as a result of the incidences, the question that disturbed many concerned how such chemical was found on the hands of terrorists, an issue that claimed possibility of more chemicals, radiological, biological or nuclear weapons in possession by illegal hands. Consequently, the growing concern has made the government to devise ways to prevent and prepare adequately in response to any sort of an attack. From the investigations, it became clearer that some of the toxic chemicals can be extracted directly from nature and others might as well be taken from the industries (Zul et al., 2015). For this reason, it may be a challenge to mitigate the terror attack completely but rather to be ready and respond to any attack if it occurs.

Safety on Chemical and Hazardous Materials

Risk reduction relies on security activities, god engineering control methods for chemical containments, existing applications of the personal protective equipment and the use of less dangerous chemicals to the environment. The guidelines on chemical safety include the assumption that all unfamiliar chemicals are hazardous, never use non-labelled chemicals, follow all the safety instructions for every chemical, date all chemicals to avoid contamination and minimize your exposure time with the chemicals. The types of chemical hazards include corrosives, liquid solvents, toxins and irritants and reactive and explosives. There are safety methods that must be followed to ensure that everyone is safe from the chemical hazards. There are safety rules for all laboratories, and every person must follow them to minimize the possible occurrence of the chemical hazards. The work environment must always be free from any chemicals so that every person is kept safe. All disposable chemicals must be disposed of using the correct method to ensure that they do not spill to the environment and cause any danger (Saat et al., 2014).

Why Buildings Should Have a Code of Ethics

Every building should have a proper ventilation system to ensure the free flow of air to and from the building. Proper ventilation ensures that in the case of a chemical outbreak, the occupants can have some time to leave the premises before the chemical kills them. Every building must also have a fire and risk department to keep the other employees alert and warn them in the case of any breakout. The building should also have emergency doors and windows to allow the people to move quickly out in the event of an attack and gather at the assembly point for check-ups (Borrion et al. 2012).

Bretherick's Handbook of Reactive Chemical Hazards

Chemical hazards stem from flammable, toxic, explosive, radioactive and corrosive sources. Their effects on a human being can be acute like a flash-fire and cause irritation problem to the person. All activities using any chemicals generate chemical wastes that if not properly managed, can be dangerous to the ecosystem. The wastes can be in the form of sludge, pastes, liquid and gaseous emissions. Proper disposal and management of the waste will protect the environment from the chemical hazards and protect human life from degradation (Bretherick, 2013).

Strategies to Enhance Medical Countermeasures after the Use of Chemical Warfare Agents on Civilians

Chemical weapons utilized for any form of attacks can be made or stolen from chemical or car manufacturing plants. The types of chemicals that can be used to attack a city include chemical weapons used for military warfare, biological toxins like ricin and toxic chemical for industrial and commercial purposes. The dangers of these chemicals can be immediate or long lasting. The various methods by which chemical attack can be carried out include explosives, sabotage of plants, passive release, aerosolizing devices and sprays and improvised chemical release devices that combine with the existing chemicals to form a dangerous one. Chemical attacks can be detected by changes in the color of the atmosphere, the smell of the air and also by the use of detection equipment. Chemical attack has adverse effects on human health and the plantation around (Jett et al., 2015).

Sulfur Mustard Effects on Mental Health and Quality of Life

The US and other countries around the globe have established a running program that acts a defense mechanism to all forms of chemical attack after the end of World War 1. The program invo...

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Perception of Fire Department's Ability to Adequately Respond to Domestic Chemical Attacks - Paper Example. (2021, Jun 08). Retrieved from

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