As a ROSS and the state Radiation Director for CT, I recognize the value that a ROSS can bring to our nuclear power plant emergency response. CT has incorporated the ROSS concept into our radiological Emergency Plan (REP) procedures, training, outreach, and exercises.
ROSS is a cost-effective force multiplier for our small Radiation Program Division and CT has successfully used ROSS to improve our performance for FEMA evaluated exercises. We have been able to deploy ROSS at about $1000 total to participate in a rehearsal drill and exercise. The return on this investment has been tremendous. Every time we use a ROSS at one facility, other response groups in the plan seem to get jealous and want one of their own! ROSS have successfully integrated into both our State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) or into a remote Community Reception Center (CRC). ROSS have effectively addressed questions and concerns from other agencies or the public at CRCs. In the past, these questions were directed all the way up to the SEOC. Now responders feel that they can get faster answers to their questions so they can make timely response decisions. ROSS have also been effective in taking a large load off of our Radiation Group and allowed them to focus on critical dose assessment and field response actions.
ROSS is now part of the fabric of CT’s REP. We have a budget for ROSS support. In planning meetings, our Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) REP staff ask, “Where do we need a ROSS for this exercise?” Local EM personnel are requesting ROSS. I no longer have to explain the ROSS role for every exercise.
We are also proud that CT is supporting the ROSS community with exercise opportunities as well as with developing ROSS from our state. Our little state is making a difference in improving our nation’s response capabilities.
– Jeff Semancik, Connecticut