Aim: The purpose of the study is to work out a new emergency medical service (EMS) tactic to be employed in CBRNE/HAZMAT incidents, which would allow performing emergency medical procedures in the area so far inaccessible to the State Emergency Medical System (Polish abbreviation: PRM).

Project and methods: Incidents involving new hazardous materials, especially terrorist ones, demand emergency services to be well prepared in order to respond accordingly. Latest technological advances regarding both personal protective equipment (PPE) for preventing contamination and respiratory protection equipment bring effective and safe methods of medical professionals’ protection at every stage of rescue operations being performed. The research study was conducted in 2016–2018 and its main focus was on providing medical care at all stages of rescue operations. The CBRNE/HAZMAT incident procedures of the State Emergency Medical System (PRM), the National Firefighting and Rescue System (KSRG), the Bureau of Anti-Terrorist Operations of the National Police Headquarters (BOA KGP) and the Epidemiological Response Centre of the Polish Armed Forces (CRESZ) were thoroughly analysed. An analysis of procedural shortcomings within rescue operations of all services was also conducted. In addition, the PPE for preventing contamination and the respiratory protection equipment that is used by various emergency services and may also be applied within PRM operations was thoroughly examined.

Results: Based on the study, a new EMS tactic was developed using the available PPE, a management system of rescue operations and a model of organisation of any operations. The in-depth analysis of PPE for preventing contamination and respiratory protection equipment indicated new solutions and methods for protecting professionals of the National Emergency Medical Services while providing pre-hospital and hospital care (in Hospital Emergency Departments). A set of training drills employing new tactics and PPE indicated real possibilities to transfer new solutions to EMS that would compensate the shortcomings identified within the procedures of responses at the subsequent stages of CBRNE/HAZMAT incidents.

Conclusions: The suggested tactic of emergency medical services shall enhance the effectiveness of the emergency rescue system in CBRNE/HAZMAT incidents as it enables emergency medical procedures (Polish abbreviation: MCR) to be more promptly performed in patients with life-threatening conditions, along with providing medical care at all stages of rescue operations.

Keywords: CBRNE, HAZMAT, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), PRM system

Type of article: original scientific article