The ROSS: A Radiological/Nuclear Subject Matter Expert Filling a Critical National Need

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This paper was created from a presentation the author made at the 2017 National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) Annual Meeting on 6 March 2017. The Fifty-Third Annual Meeting of the NCRP was titled Assessment of National Efforts in Emergency Preparedness for Nuclear Terrorism: Is There a Need for Realignment to Close Remaining Gaps? Like the presentation, this paper describes one effort to fill what has been identified as one of the more critical gaps in our U.S. nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness. The Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS) may help address the national need for subject matter experts that can help the nation, states, and municipalities respond to and recover from radiological and nuclear emergencies. The author is one of the four members of the ROSS Steering Committee and was the first state health physicist to serve as a ROSS at a national-level improvised nuclear device exercise. From his experiences, the ROSS is described from its genesis 3 y ago to its status today, along with some thoughts about where the ROSS will be in the future.

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