Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders

Core Goal #4 Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders

All police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical providers in every metropolitan region should have ready and immediate access to personal protective equipment, including at a minimum some form of emergency airway protection, access to more advanced breathing apparatus and protective suits, and medications and antidotes against common WMD agents, and the training to use this equipment properly. All police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical providers in rural regions should have ready and immediate access to personal protective equipment appropriate to local hazards.

Why is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) important?
Protecting the lives of our first responders is essential so that they can continue to protect the lives of the public.  First responders may be called upon to operate in extremely dangerous environments and require specialized equipment that is not always necessary in day-to-day operations.  Specialized personal protective equipment includes additional breathing apparatus, chemical suits, gloves, and boots as well as medications and protective treatments to guard against the effects of chemical, biological, and radiological agents. Routine training and exercising is necessary so that first responders have the opportunity to become familiar with specialized equipment and to ensure that it operates correctly when needed. 

Governor O'Malley's Strategic Plan for Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders:

4A - All police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical providers in every region should have ready and immediate access to personal protective equipment, including at a minimum some form of emergency airway protection, access to more advanced breathing apparatus and protective suits.

• Develop and regularly maintain an inventory of State and local first responder (Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement) agencies current PPE capabilities.
• Develop a system of coordination to facilitate the acquisition of universally compatible personal protective equipment and breathing protection for first responders appropriate to local hazards.
• All first responders should be trained on the use and maintenance of their standard PPE, and PPE specific to local hazards.

4B – All police officers and firefighters in metropolitan, and rural regions should have access to medications and antidotes against common CBRNE/WMD agents.

• Ensure that all primary first responders (law enforcement and fire/EMS) have access to medications and antidotes to common CBRNE agents including those that might be used in WMD.

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