Agent-Based Modeling of First Responders’ Willingness to Accept Risk from Radiation Exposure
This series of models was developed using NetLogo to study factors affecting first responders’ willingness to accept potential radiation exposure in the context of entering areas where radioactive contamination is present, and in the triage and treatment of patients who may be contaminated with radiation exposure. Key variables examined in the models include the absence or presence of radiation subject matter experts (SME), the range of communication and the relative perception of risk of each first responder agent represented as a “radiation tolerance” numerical value. This work was completed by Mary Sproull as part of a doctoral dissertation in the Biodefense Graduate Program within the Schar School of Policy and Government under the guidance of Dr. William G. Kennedy with the Center for Social Complexity.
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Since the events of 9/11, a concerted interagency effort has been undertaken to create comprehensive emergency planning and preparedness strategies for management of a radiological or nuclear event in the U.S. These planning guides include protective action guidelines, medical countermeasure recommendations, and systems for diagnosing and triaging radiation injury. Yet, key areas such as perception of risk from radiation exposure by first responders have not been addressed.1
1. The impact of radiation dread on mass casualty medical management during a radiological or nuclear event. Sproull M, Koizumi N, Petricoin E, Koblentz GD, Kennedy WG. Am J Disaster Med. 2021 Spring;16(2):147-162. doi: 10.5055/ajdm.2021.0396.PMID: 34392526