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Biohazard Info Update

Biological Hazard First Responder Protocol

 Created by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office

 After research and discussion regarding coordinated multi-disciplinary procedures for the first responses to a broad range of bio-terrorism hazards, these basic protocols were agreed upon by County and municipal law enforcement, fire, medical and environmental agencies.

Suspicious Envelope or Package

Unopened with
NO Credible Threat

Unopened with Credible Threat

Opened / Leaking Suspicious Material

Report through Dispatch Center:  Dispatch Center to use protocols in place and incorporate Biological Agent Questionnaire for threat assessment.

Law Enforcement Response:  Law enforcement will exercise appropriate safety measures and assess for threat level using by using Biological Agent Questionnaire.

Both Law Enforcement and Fire Department will respond.

If NO evidence of credible threat:

      I.      If reporting party (RP) is willing to dispose of envelope/package, encourage RP to disinfect and dispose in garbage.

    II.      If RP is NOT willing to dispose of envelope / package call for Fire Department response and Fire will respond, put envelope / package in bleach or disinfectant solution and place in waste receptacle.

Unopened with credible threat:

      I.      Law will request Environmental Health and Fire Department response.  Environmental Health and/or Fire will neutralize bag and seize suspicious package/bag for testing.

    II.      Law enforcement will photograph and obtain any information available for possible criminal investigation, write a report documenting the event and circumstances, and recommend extent of investigation.

   III.      Environmental Health will collect envelope / package and send to lab for analysis.

Opened / Leaking Suspicious Material

      I.      Law enforcement will photograph and obtain any information available for possible criminal investigation, write a report documenting the event and circumstances, and recommend extent of investigation.

    II.      Fire Department and law enforcement will determine threat level following existing Fire protocols and determine level of response.

   III.      Fire Department and Environmental Health to follow existing protocols.

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