First Responders Guide

Chemical/Biological Terrorism

Indicators of possible Chemical Agent (CW) usage:

Unusual dead or dying animals

      Lack of insects

Unexplained Casualties

      Multiple victims

      Serious illnesses

      Nausea, disorientation, difficulty breathing, convulsions

      Definite casualty patterns

Unusual Liquid, Spray or Vapor

      Droplets, oily film

      Unexplained odor

      Low-lying clouds/fog unrelated to weather

Suspicious Devices/Packages

      Unusual metal debris

      Abandoned spray devices

      Unexplained munitions


Indicators of possible

Biological Agent (BW) usage:

Unusual dead or dying animals

      Sick or dying animals, people or fish

Unusual Casualties

      Unusual illness for region/area

      Definite pattern inconsistent with natural disease

Unusual Liquid, Spray or Vapor

      Spraying and suspicious devices or packages

Unusual swarms of insects




LA. County Operational Area

Terrorism working Group NBC-FR-1-97

Initial Responder Actions

In cases of actual release of NBC agents first responding units must immediately take steps to protect themselves

 If release is suspected:

1)      Remain calm,

2)      Don protective equipment (PPE)

3)      From a safe vantage point, reassure victims that assistance is on the way,

4)      Wait for properly equipped help at a safe location (upwind, uphill, upstream).


Safely, isolate and deny entry and make notifications (SIN).

Notification Essentials


      Observed NBC Indicators

      Wind Direction and Weather Conditions at Scene

      Plume Direction (direction of cloud or vapor travel)

      Orientation of Victims (direction, position, pattern)

      Number of Apparent Victims

      Type of Injuries, Symptoms Presented

      Witness Statements or Observations

      Nature of NBC agents (if known) from detection equipment or monitors.

      Exact Location of Reporting Unit

      Suggested Safe Access Route and Staging Area.

Incident Objectives

      Secure a Perimeter and designate zones or operation

      Control & ID Agent Release

      Rescue, Decon, Triage, Treat & Transport affected persons

      Move uninvolved crowds/persons to safe zones

      Stabilize the incident

      Avoid Secondary Contamination

      Secure Evidence & Crime Scene

      Protect Against Secondary Attack