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Communication during mass casualty decontamination highlighting the gaps

Communication during mass casualty decontamination highlighting the gaps Purpose Effective communication has been recognised as an important issue for the management of incidents involving decontamination evidence shows that failure to communicate effectively may result in increased public anxiety and noncompliance. This paper aims to examine current provision for communicating with members of the public during decontamination, to facilitate the development of improved responder communication strategies.Designmethodologyapproach To examine the current provision for communicating with members of the public, the authors reviewed open source decontamination guidance documents for responders, as well as published reports of emergency preparedness exercises involving decontamination.Findings The review of decontamination guidance documents showed that specific guidance for professional responders on how to communicate with the public during incidents that involve decontamination could be improved. Similarly, the review of published decontamination exercises shows that a stronger emphasis on communication with members of the public is needed, in addition to the use of exercises to evaluate the effectiveness of communication strategies.Originalityvalue The present research summarises existing evidence relating to how communication strategies employed by responders can shape public responses to decontamination. Analysed alongside current decontamination guidance for emergency responders, this evidence highlights potential gaps in planning for communicating with members of the public during decontamination. It is hoped that this will promote an increased understanding of the importance of communication during these types of incidents, which will in turn facilitate the development of more comprehensive responder communication strategies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Emergency Services Emerald Publishing

Communication during mass casualty decontamination highlighting the gaps

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2047-0894
DOI
10.1108/IJES-06-2012-0026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose Effective communication has been recognised as an important issue for the management of incidents involving decontamination evidence shows that failure to communicate effectively may result in increased public anxiety and noncompliance. This paper aims to examine current provision for communicating with members of the public during decontamination, to facilitate the development of improved responder communication strategies.Designmethodologyapproach To examine the current provision for communicating with members of the public, the authors reviewed open source decontamination guidance documents for responders, as well as published reports of emergency preparedness exercises involving decontamination.Findings The review of decontamination guidance documents showed that specific guidance for professional responders on how to communicate with the public during incidents that involve decontamination could be improved. Similarly, the review of published decontamination exercises shows that a stronger emphasis on communication with members of the public is needed, in addition to the use of exercises to evaluate the effectiveness of communication strategies.Originalityvalue The present research summarises existing evidence relating to how communication strategies employed by responders can shape public responses to decontamination. Analysed alongside current decontamination guidance for emergency responders, this evidence highlights potential gaps in planning for communicating with members of the public during decontamination. It is hoped that this will promote an increased understanding of the importance of communication during these types of incidents, which will in turn facilitate the development of more comprehensive responder communication strategies.

Journal

International Journal of Emergency ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 12, 2013

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