Hospital Emergency Response Teams

Triage for Optimal Disaster Response


  • Jan Glarum, Emergency Response Consultant, Alcoa, TN, USA
  • Don Birou
  • Ed Cetaruk

Hospital Emergency Response Teams aims to provide authoritative training for hospital personnel in the emergency department, as well community-level medical service personnel, assisting them in times of disaster and emergency. Comprised of six chapters, the book covers various aspects of emergency response. Some of the aspects are the National Incident Management System (NIMS) implementation activities for hospitals and health care systems and the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS) IV missions. The book also explains the implementation issues, requirements, and timelines in establishing an internal HICS IV program. It presents the assessment of likely mass casualty events and potential hospital impact. The book also features appendices for emergency response team checklists, PPE donning and doffing guide, ambulatory and non-ambulatory decontamination setup, ETA exercises, and ETA drills. The book is intended to provide understanding of emergency response to first emergency medicine professionals, first responders, security staff, community-level disaster planners, and public health and disaster management researchers.
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Emergency medicine professionals and first responders; hospital security staff; community-level disaster planners. Researchers in public health and disaster management.


Book information

  • Published: December 2009
  • ISBN: 978-1-85617-701-6


" excellent starting point for someone about to embark on the process of building a decontamination program in his or her facility."--Anjanette Hebert, Director of Security and Safety, Lafayette General Medical Center, Lafayette, LA

Table of Contents


1. Command and Control


History of Incident Command Systems Development

2. Assessment of Likely Mass Casualty Events and Potential Hospital Impact

Planning Practicality

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosive Threats

Radiation Doses

Blast Injuries



3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Local Hazard Assessment and Selection Criteria

Components of Protective Ensembles

Hazards Associated with Utilization of PPE

Logistical Considerations

Related Worldwide Considerations-International Look


4. Emergency Treatment Area


Purpose of the Emergency Treatment Area (ETA)

ETA Decontamination Zone


5. Triage Principles


Triage Stages


6. Decontamination


Decontamination Principles

Technical Decontamination


Appendix A: Checklist for Developing HERT

Appendix B: HERT Level C PPE Donning and Doffing Guide

Appendix C: HERT Ambulatory/Non-Ambulatory/Technical Decontamination: Decontamination Lane Setup

Appendix D: HERT Decontamination Techniques

Appendix E: HERT Emergency Treatment Area Exercise (7-hour exercise)

Appendix F: HERT Emergency Treatment Area (ETA) Drill (short, intense 2.0-hour drill)