During a mass casualty disaster, hospitals are at the epicenter of the healthcare response. However, hospitals cannot succeed alone. The well-being of your population and victims will depend on how well your community’s hospitals, emergency managers, first responders, public health officers, and other healthcare providers and partners work together to provide an integrated, collaborative healthcare response.

The Course: Healthcare Response for Mass Casualty CBRNE Events

The California Department of Public Health online, on-demand training course, Healthcare Response for Mass Casualty CBRNE Events, is designed to help the entire emergency network, including hospital staff, emergency managers, first responders, public healthcare administrators, and healthcare partners understand the unique challenges of providing healthcare to their community during these catastrophic events. Whether you are new to the subject of hospital and community multi-agency disaster preparedness, or have previous experience and training, this course can provide insight and clarification of the challenges and responsibilities you will face during a mass casualty CBRNE event.

What You'll Learn in This Course

  • Multi-lateral emergency communication
  • Shelter in place and evacuation decision analysis
  • Triage and decontamination protocols
  • Personal Protective Equipment Guidance
  • Integrated command structures
  • Surge staffing and hospital capacity strategies
  • Agent specific protocols and treatments

Group Training Options

The UCSF Homeland Security Emergency Management Division of the UCSF Police Department has had great success using the course for group training within their wide-ranging, multi-disciplinary group. They tackle session modules at the end of Emergency Management Committee meetings, document the training in their minutes and follow the module reviews with robust discussion of the issues at hand.


Get the Facts About CBRNE Healthcare Response

Expectations about roles, responsibilities, capabilities and behavior during a disaster impact how we plan for and respond to community healthcare emergencies. Unfortunately, there are quite a few myths about CBRNE mass casualty response that can negatively impact your response efforts. Get the facts here.

Fact: The chemical released may not be identified for hours or days. First responders, mass care workers and certified volunteers arriving at the incident site may be exposed to significant risks.
Fact: The first victims arriving at the hospitals often arrive under their own power without direct involvement of emergency response teams on the scene.
Fact: Emergency response personnel seldom have the tools and resources to effectively decontaminate, triage and treat the large numbers of victims of a large scale CBRN event.
Fact: The general public can behave in ways that significantly erode the effectiveness of the emergency response.
Fact: Biological attacks are likely to be recognized only after affected people start to become sick. In some cases, this may not occur for weeks after an attack.

CDPH Course Case Study: Lessons Learned

In the middle of the night, on January 6, 2005, a freight train loaded with 270 tons of chlorine collided with a parked locomotive in the center of Graniteville, South Carolina unleashing one of the largest chlorine exposures since World War I, on a sleeping populace. Chlorine is one of the most widely used industrial chemicals in the world today, with 13 million tons produced annually in the United States alone. Over the past 10 years, chlorine has been involved in hundreds of accidents nationwide killing or injuring thousands of workers and townspeople. Are you ready if this happens in your community? Take this course to learn how Graniteville, South Carolina emergency responders and healthcare receivers responded to one of the largest chlorine exposures in world history.

2005 train accident and historic chlorine spill in Graniteville, South Carolina

Who Should Take This Course?

Healthcare First Receivers

Emergency Responders

Healthcare Response Partners

Healthcare First Receivers are at the the epicenter of healthcare response. Staff and members of these organizations will benefit from this course.

Emergency Responders are are on the front line of healthcare response during a CBRNE event. Here is who should take this course.

Healthcare Response Partners provide critical support for disaster resilience. The following organizations and individuals will benefit from this course.

  • Hospital Staff
  • Medical Center Staff
  • Hospital Association Members
  • Nursing Association Members
  • Emergency Managers
  • Public Health Agencies
  • Fire Departments
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Healthcare Clinics
  • Elder Care Facilities
  • Urgent Care Facilities
  • Mass Care Providers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Hospital & Medical Center Service Providers