Good Question

Apr 18, 2013 1:35 AM by John Reger

GQ: What are the rules for police and firefighters responding to an explosion involving injuries?

By now we've all seen video of the explosions at the Boston Marathon. The first responders immediately rushed to the victims before they even knew what caused the blast, or whether another would go off nearby.

That prompted this question: What are the rules for police and firefighters responding to an explosion involving injuries? Good Question.

Santa Maria Fire Chief Dan Orr says his department regularly discusses the risk versus gain question in real situations. He says people who become firefighters are fulfilling a calling with the goal of saving lives. The unwritten rule is sort the wounded for treatment without putting yourself in danger.

San Luis Obispo Fire Chief Charlie Hines says it's a judgment call, based on training and experience. Each firefighter takes a calculated risk, assessing danger as they tend to victims. Senior officers on the scene help make the call.

San Luis Obispo Police Captain Chris Staley said the 2 immediate goals are extract victims, then preserve the crime scene for evidence. The department operations manual gives the general guideline of first assessing the scope of the incident, including injuries. But how quickly to run to the victims is again a judgment call.

The SLO County Sheriff's Office says it all happens at once: help victims, prevent further casualties and prevent another incident.

The FBI and ATF have provided anti-terrorist training and updated bulletins to local departments since 9-11.

If you've got a Good Question, send it to facebook.com/johnregerksbynews. The only bad question is the one you don't ask.

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