Sources Of Assistance

Emergency department personnel should be familiar with authorities that can provide advice and assistance when radiation accidents occur. Radiation emergency call lists may be prepared in advance and include the following contacts:

1. Local facilities which staff medical and health physics professionals trained in radiation accidents.

2. Local civil defense or disaster offices.

3. State radiological health office (title may vary by state).

4. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

5. US Department of Energy (DOE). Seven assets of DOE are dedicated to radiological emergency response: Aerial Measuring System (AMS), Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability (ARAC), Accident Response Group (ARG), Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC), Nuclear Emergency

Search Team (NEST), Radiological Assistance Program (RAP), and Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REACTS). These assets provide expert technical support throughout the U.S. in response to radiation accidents, nuclear weapons incidents, lost or stolen radioactive materials, or acts of nuclear terrorism.

RAP has 8 regional coordinating offices that provide assistance in preparing for radiological emergencies and provide radiological assessments of accidents ( Fig. 199-4).

FIG. 199-4. Regional coordinating offices for Department of Energy Radiological Assistance Program. (Courtesy of the United States Department of Energy Regional

Coordinating Offices.)

REACTS is the medical asset of DOE Radiological Emergency Response that provides training programs, consultation assistance, and treatment capabilities. REACTS has the capability to dispatch an emergency response team of health professionals to assist at an accident site. After initial treatment and decontamination actions are complete, REACTS may also accept severely contaminated or irradiated patients for transfer to its facilities for more definitive care. REACTS daytime phone is (423) 576-3131. REACTS 24-hour emergency number is (423) 481-1000.

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