Center for Biosecurity and Public Health Preparedness
Introduction to Bioterrorism Preparedness
Course Description. (1-hour level 1 training) This clinical awareness bioterrorism course is designed to equip all health care workers with basic knowledge concerning public health emergency preparedness. Topics discussed include: recognition of a public health emergency, decontamination procedures, utilization of personal protective equipment, activation of the public health system, and the roles and responsibilities of the public health worker during a public health emergency.
Recognizing and Responding to Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Emergencies
Course Description. (2-hour level 1 training) This course expands the 1-hour clinical awareness bioterrorism course (above) to include biological and chemical hazards as well as recognition of a public health emergency, decontamination procedures, and personal protection equipment. Roles and responsibilities of the healthcare worker in the public health setting and hospital are discussed in detail. This course is designed to meet the nurse’s license renewal continuing education requirements.
National Disaster Life Support (NDLS) Courses:
1. Core Disaster Life Support™ (CDLS™)
Course Description. CDLS™ is an introduction to “all-hazards” preparedness for basic first responders, community officials, business owners, and other concerned citizens. It is delivered over 4 hours through in-person didactic and interactive lectures with standardized slide sets and an accompanying text. The course provides a brief overview of natural and accidental man-made events; traumatic and explosive events; nuclear and radiological events; biological events; and chemical events. The focus of the course is discussion and application of a unique approach to disaster management called the D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R paradigm. The overarching aim is to introduce participants to basic concepts and terms that are reinforced in greater detail in the BDLS™ course (described below).
2. Basic Disaster Life Support™ (BDLS™)
Course Description. BDLS™ is delivered through in-person didactic and interactive lectures with standardized slide sets and an accompanying text. It is a review of the all-hazards topics including natural and accidental man-made events; traumatic and explosive events; nuclear and radiological events; biological events; and chemical events. Also included is information on such critical areas as the health care professional’s role in the public health and incident management systems, community mental health, and special needs of under served and vulnerable populations. Course Duration: 7.5 hours of didactic teaching (excludes breaks and lunch).
3. Advanced Disaster Life Support™ (ADLS™)
Advanced Disaster Life Support™ is an advanced practicum of the principles introduced in Basic Disaster Life Support™ (BDLS™) designed for persons on specialized response teams. ADLS™ is intended to provide an advanced, uniform standard of competencies, skills and knowledge to front line health care and public health responders for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) response. Successful completion of the BDLS™ course is a prerequisite. This is a two-day course consisting of 8 hours of didactic training and 8 hours of hands-on training in MASS Triage™, PPE and decontamination, disaster skills, and on a Human Patient Simulator.
Day 1 of ADLS™
ADLS™ includes lectures on the following:
- MASS Triage™ in detail
- Community and hospital disaster planning
- Media and communications during disasters
- Mass fatality management
In addition, small group interactive sessions allow students to work through a series of difficult questions of disaster management in a table-top format.
Day 2 of ADLS™ ("hands-on" training)
Four skills stations reinforce the previous day''s learning. These skills stations include the following:
- MASS Triage™—This challenging station allows the students to practice the concepts of the disaster paradigm with an emphasis on patient triage. Simulated disaster victims must be triaged and treated correctly while attempting to manage a chaotic scene and request appropriate resources.
- PPE and Decontamination—This station teaches important concepts about the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and decontamination technique. Students are given the opportunity to wear PPE and participate in a simulated decontamination while attempting to render medical care.
- Disaster Skills—This station teaches important information about vital skills necessary for medical disaster management. Students are taught vital information on the Strategic National Stockpile and proper Mark-I kit use. Students are also allowed to practice smallpox immunization.
- Human Patient Simulator—Recognition of victims of a chemical and biological disaster is paramount. This station is designed to reinforce the detection and proper treatment of conditions that may occur during disasters that we do not normally treat. Treatment of chemical, biological, and traumatic patients is covered. The use of these high fidelity simulators allows the student to see, hear, and feel information that would normally be provided by an instructor. It allows for a more realistic experience than normal manikins would allow.
4. National Disaster Life Support Instructor (NDLS-I) Training
The instructor course provides participants who have successfully completed the ADLS provider program with the opportunity to strengthen skills acquired in the ADLS breakout stations. Successful completion of the ADLS™ course is a prerequisite. Upon NDLS-I instructor course completion, participants will be eligible to teach Core Disaster Life Support™, Basic Disaster Life Support™, and Advanced Disaster Life Support™ courses.
Bioterrorism Coordinator – Basic Skill Builder “Boot Camp”
This course addresses the lack of formal training bioterrorism coordinators and other related public health staff have undergone in epidemiology, surveillance systems, or managing critical data. Training this particular workforce is essential to a local health department’s ability to be certified. The purpose is to connect this workforce with experience in disease detections using epidemiological tools. Follow-up courses persist throughout the year, building on their new basic skills.
This course addresses chemical terrorism—preparedness planning, detection and surveillance, and emergency response, emphasizing the relationships between medical and public health professionals and emergency management, the military, and law enforcement in responding to a deliberate chemical attack or accidental release. The following categories of chemicals are addressed: choking agents, blistering agents, blood agents, and nerve agents. Safety precautions, incident command, protective equipment, and decontamination are also addressed.
Disease Outbreak Investigation Training
This one and one-half day course is designed to provide basic skills in disease outbreak investigation, emphasizing disease recognition and initial emergency response actions to potential agents of bioterrorism. Public health staff from regional and local departments, as well as clinicians who work in detection and reporting, are the target audience.
Leadership I: Texas Department of Health Leadership Training in Disasters
Competency-based bioterrorism leadership skills are taught in an initial two-day course targeted toward regional and local public health staff. Using scenarios built upon the five components of the Texas public health leadership model, this course challenges mid-level public health workers to assume the roles of leaders in a highly interactive and engaging workshop format. Also available in an abbreviated 4-hour format.
Building on concepts of emergency preparedness, this course addresses the application of isolation and quarantine in a modern legal and human rights context and is designed for public safety, public health, school, municipal, and other officials to learn about their respective roles in enforcing isolation laws and regulations. Participants will learn the infectious disease reporting requirements and legal authority, including enforcement, and be able to explain isolation and quarantine strategies and how they may differ depending on the disease. “Least restrictive measures” in the context of modern human rights will be addressed. The course will also address appropriate infection control measures, including personal protective equipment, to minimize the risk of occupational exposure and identify the support systems in their local community necessary to carry out isolation and quarantine.
Radiological Emergency Response Training For First Responders Serving Non-Urban Areas
This course focuses on emergency situations unique to rural settings. For rural first responders, awareness of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) issues are important, as the extent of damage may extend beyond the confines of an urban area, but a more prevalent emergency event occurring in non-urban areas is an event involving a transported source of radioactivity. The “all hazards” approach to radiological emergencies is covered, with a particular emphasis on transported radiation sources.
Risk Communications and Media Relations
The purpose of this course is to provide training to key constituents, health department staff, and leadership related to risk communications. The competency-based course is taught in 4- and 8-hour blocks and includes interactive components modeled after the training of the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service.
Taking the Terror Out of Bioterrorism—Laboratory Response Procedures
Bioterrorism and components of response are covered in this basic course, with particular emphasis on common disease agents, relevant laboratory procedures, and treatment. In addition, standard laboratory practices, Biosafety Level 3 practices, and other laboratory management skills are covered.