176772 Web-based training on ocular manifestations of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) for urban emergency medical service (EMS) personnel

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 9:30 AM

Robyn R.M. Gershon, DrPH , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY
Allison N. Canton, BA , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Mitchell Dul, OD, MS , SUNY Optometry, New York, NY
Dario Gonzalez, MD, FACEP , FDNY Office of Medical Affairs, Bayside, NY
Charles DiMaggio, PhD, MPH, PA-C , Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Neal Naito, MD , U.S. Department of Defense, Bethesda, MD
Introduction: Emergency medical services personnel (EMS) are critical for an effective response to a terrorist attack. Recent events at public assembly/mass gathering places underscore their potential vulnerability and difficulty for an effective response. While training and education of first responders are crucial, training specifically on ocular manifestations of WMD for EMS is limited.

Methods: A state-of-the-art web-based simulation training program was developed for EMS.

Results: In addition to a basic WMD education module (agent categories, awareness and response, crowd/perimeter control and mass evacuation from urban transit hubs) as well one module on ocular anatomy and another on basic eye care three simulated modules were developed to address the EMS response to eye injuries that may result from a bioterrorist, chemical or dirty bomb attack. Pre/post tests (addressing six major constructs: knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, influence of subjective norms, intentions to respond and barriers to respond safely) assessed effectiveness. 400 EMS throughout New York State have already completed the training modules and assessment tools.

Conclusion: This program represents a unique technological approach by providing training and education to a critical response group in the urban setting.

The use of simulated training techniques is a novel method of disaster preparedness training.

Learning Objectives:
1. To identify effective adult learning techniques (simulation training) 2. To list the training objectives in a learning program for ocular manifestations of WMD 3. To learn how to assess the effectiveness of a WMD training program.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the research coordinator on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Bioterrorism Preparedness
See more of: Epidemiology