Personal protective equipment (PPE) has always been critical for the safety of first responders, a fact that came into sharp focus during the recent Ebola scare. The small outbreak in the U.S. and larger situation in West Africa has led to many tough questions about the nation’s ability to deal with a future biological disease outbreak in the U.S.
William Haskell, a PPE expert and project officer in the Policy and Standards Development branch at the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, is at the forefront of efforts to protect first responders. The January/February issue of NFPA Journal includes an in-depth interview with Haskell, a member of several NFPA technical committees, on possible amendments to NFPA 1999, Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations, as well as the ongoing efforts to keep first responders safe during biological disease outbreaks, and what lessons can be learned from the recent Ebola events impacting emergency responders. The feature, called Mr. PPE, also features a photo spread of several new types of PPE that could be used in responding to biological hazards.
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