Detection, Measurement, and Identification of Hazards
Perhaps one of the most important functions of emergency response to CBRN/ HAZMAT situations is to identify the cause of the problem. This is one of the longest chapters in the book, due to the importance of the questions that we must answer. What substance is involved? What is it that is making people sick or causing a dangerous situation to exist? Much of the success or failure of incident management will rely on identifying the. substance(s) involved, measuring the quantity, and determining where the substances are present. Effective incident-management measures, including selection of appropriate protective equipment, decontamination measures, and medical interventions, rely on information about the type and amount of hazard present. How are you going to estimate the course and future harm (the first E in GEDAPER) if you do not know what substance is involved or how much is present? You can make a guess, but it will be just that—a guess.
It is important to understand that this chapter is not an inventory or catalog of available sensors. There are many sources for such information. I want this book to be relevant five or ten years from now, and technologies and products will change in that period of time. I feel that it is much more important to understand what can be reasonably done with sensors and how to pick sensors that support your concept of operations than to get into the details of individual sensors. ...