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It’s never to early to prepare for ORI

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lindsay Bosquez
  • 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron
McConnell is scheduled for an Operational Readiness Inspection in 2008 from June 14-21.

While that seems far away now, it will sneak up in no time at all. To help Team McConnell members prepare for the ORI, the 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron Readiness Flight will periodically provide articles about Airmen's ability to survive and operate to the e-Contrails and the Tanker Times from now until the inspection. The articles will be designed to familiarize Airmen with ATSO skills.

The first ATSO topic the 22nd CES would like to address is "the 10-foot rule." The 10-foot rule means people must follow certain procedures when they are within 10 feet of a resource that may be chemically contaminated. The 10-foot rule was developed to provide guidance to protect personnel who must use and handle chemically-contaminated resources. It was also developed to protect people who work with materials that might retain a residual chemical hazard longer than the rest of their immediate environment.

For example, the 10-foot rule can be used on a vehicle that has become contaminated while the hazard from rest of the environment has subsided. This can occur because vehicles have many crevices in which contaminants can hide. Contaminants can also seep into, and take a while to dissipate from, the paint on vehicles.

Some basic tenets of the 10-foot rule are:

The 10-foot rule provides probable time ranges that residual chemical hazards are likely to exist. The times are not absolute guarantees of safety. Personnel must remain alert for evidence of chemically-induced symptoms in themselves or co-workers.

The 10-foot rule addresses the potential presence of residual contamination originating from relatively non-porous equipment surfaces such as painted or bare metal and glass.

There are two phases associated with the 10-foot rule, the initial phase and the follow-on phase.

During the initial phase, personnel remain in mission oriented protective posture four, more commonly know as MOPP 4, when they are within 10 feet of contaminated equipment. This MOPP level provides personnel the maximum amount of protection available while a hazard exists.

Throughout the follow-on phase, personnel use gloves of any sort, leather, rubber, cloth, etc., when operating on or handling contaminated equipment. Although a contact hazard is unlikely, relatively small amounts of an agent may remain present. The use of gloves ensures unnecessary bare skin contact with agent residue is avoided.

People can find times associated with initial and follow-on phases of the 10-foot rule in Air Force Manual 10-2602, Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Conventional Defense Operations and Standards, Table A2.8.6.

To simplify response, commanders may choose to use the worst-case scenario as the foundation for all 10-foot rule actions meaning 24 hours for the initial phase and periods of time greater than 24 hours for the follow-on phase.