Click here to register for our upcoming FREE webinar, "Public Safety Professionals Webinar Series: Responding to Radiologic Emergencies," on Thursday, April 19 at 12:00 p.m. PST.

This course supports individuals who have already received some radiation education or knowledge and will train them how to support first responders in a radiological event or emergency. This course will also train professionals in radiation jobs on how to respond to radiological events and assist first responders. After completing this course, students will understand state and local response authorities, organizations and jurisdictional issues important for radiological response.

This program will provide health physics or radiation protection fundamentals directly applicable to the required Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS) skill sets. Upon completion, you will be prepared to take the 40 hour FEMA ROSS qualification class.

What is a ROSS?

A ROSS, or Radiological Operations Support Specialist, is a means for local health physicists and other personnel with radiological knowledge to support radiological response operations in an emergency. The ROSS is a State and Local asset, not a representative of federal agencies. They report to and work in the best interests of state and local agencies.

What does a ROSS do?

  • Supports high level public health recommendations, i.e., large area shelter or evacuation
  • Supports the integration of data and information for real time situational awareness, i.e. the rapid assessment of field data
  • Helps interpret federal and local products, and de-conflict contradictory measurements and models
  • Supports public messaging development and briefings

What skills does a ROSS possess?

  • Understands the federal radiological response framework (assets, capabilities, deployment timelines, logistical needs, & contact information)
  • Understands threat, sources and impacts of radiological and nuclear terrorism devices
  • Is familiar with Protective Action Guidelines (PAG) and how protective action recommendations are generated
  • Is familiar with decontamination techniques and priorities
  • Can assist with appropriate recommendations for: Hot zone definition, population monitoring and decontamination levels, patient handling, release of vehicles and equipment from hot zone, responder PPE, dose and turn-back guidance

What does the ideal ROSS volunteer look like?

  • Ability to rapidly deploy
  • Technical leadership skills
  • An ability to communicate radiological issues to a non-technical audience
  • Skills to provide concise, actionable guidance and recommendations
  • The ability to integrate into a multi-discipline team
  • A willingness to work long hours in difficult, often austere, environments without good communication or computational capabilities
  • Emily Caffrey, Ph.D.

    Dr. Emily Caffrey graduated in 2016 from Oregon State University with her Ph.D. in Radiation Health Physics. Her research included environmental dose assessment and computational dosimetry methods. In addition to teaching online courses for Oregon State, she also teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is a health physics consultant with Risk Assessment Corporation. Dr. Caffrey currently serves on NCRP committee SC1-25, which examined recent epidemiologic studies and implications for the linear-nonthreshold model. In her free time, Emily enjoys trail running with her dog, Apollo.