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Emergency: Responding to an Explosive Attack

Terrorism is a methodical use of terror particularly as a method of compulsion. No unanimously approved, lawfully binding, criminal laws of the explanation of terrorism exist at present. Terrorism is commonly defined according to the violent actions done with the intention of creating fear/terror. These are committed for religious reasons, political causes, deliberately or in disregard of the protection of civilians. Mostly acts of terrorism are executed by non government groups. This paper will discuss how to assess and manage an emergency terrorist scene, then explain how to recognize and respond to an explosive attack.

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In managing an emergence scene, there are several measures to be done which vary according to a particular scene. First and foremost the area and the risk are evaluated to make sure there are no more threats. Individual safety is given first priority, if one cannot enter the hazardous area without risking his/her safety then the action is unnecessary. In this case emergency services are to be summoned. If the area looks safe, then one is required to do only actions that make the situation safe and not to cause further risks.

Another measure is to take charge on the state of affairs. If one is to act in the capacity of a first aider, he/she is supposed to act quickly. If there is somebody on the scene in charge of the situation the first aider is supposed to introduce him/herself to that person then proceed to help causalities if any. First-aiders are also supposed to get consent always, before attending to the causalities.

Another helpful measure in such situations is assessing the responsiveness of causalities i.e. if they are conscious or unconscious. If causalities respond it means they are not in much danger but if they do not then they may be requiring immediate medical help.

Some situations do require calling out for help by attracting bystanders. This is always useful in hazardous situations as these people help in getting needed items like water and blankets or calling emergency services. Essentially the following are measures to be taken in such situations; “making the area safe, finding causalities, finding first-aid kits or any useful medical supplies, controlling the crowd, calling for medical help, giving first aid, protecting the properties of causalities, reassuring relatives of the casualties, gathering information and helping ambulance attendants” (Campbell & Smith, 2008).

In the recognition and response to explosive attacks and particularly terrorist attacks, actions to be taken differ with persons or responsive units. In the U.S for example, psychological systems and behavioral techniques are applied in analyzing and recognizing possible explosive attack threats/hazards. They also employ the most efficient technologies, capability and the best explosive search application methods which detect, establish and make the explosives safe prior to detonation or the carrying out of the intended motives. They detect all types of explosives from chemical atomic and improvised explosives (Lou, 2007).

Applications are always put in place on all appropriate pre-blast searches and methods to render the explosives harmless, together with post blast investigation and detection activities. This is mostly done to detect secondary and tertiary volatility and for the reasons of attribution.

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As much as explosive attack seem frightening, it is important to act professionally and make people calm. The primary priority is to make the area as safe as possible and to make sure there are no other threats. Afterward reduce panic among people while attending to causalities. Another important measure is to call emergency services and the police to liaise with them for the purpose of arresting the situation.

In the world today terrorism in on the rise, terrorists carry out their activities mostly basing on political and religious reasons. Therefore the methods of countering these acts mentioned in this paper are highly needed in every society.


Campbell, J. & Smith, J. (2008). Homeland security and emergency medical response. Chicago: McGraw Hill Publishing.

Lou, M. (2007). Combating Terrorist use of Explosives in the United States. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Emergency: Responding to an Explosive Attack'. 7 December.

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