Advanced Hazmat Life Support
Advanced Hazmat Life Support (AHLS) is a training program for medical personnel in the medical management of patients exposed to hazardous materials, including those exposed to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents. Training takes place internationally, with the majority of courses in the United States, but also in Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands and Switzerland and less frequently in Canada and Australia. The Instructor course provides a "train the trainer" program to help spread the course to more regions.
AHLS was developed in 1998 by the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center, a Center of Excellence, at The University of Arizona College of Medicine, and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology.
The AHLS Provider course has trained over 12,000 medical personnel from over 50 countries, as of June 2011.
AHLS courses are intended for
- Respiratory Therapists
- Military Personnel
Continuing education credits are provided by The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Continuing Education Coordinating Board for EMS, and The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy via ACPE, and physicians receive credit via the American College of Emergency Physicians.
AHLS Provider Course
A sixteen hour, two-day continuing education course intended for medical personnel. The course trains medical personnel to medically manage patients that have been exposed to hazardous materials including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents. Course topics include:
- Epidemiology of hazardous materials
- Toxic inhalations
- Pesticide poisoning
- Hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons
- Miscellaneous toxicants
- Toxic terrorism (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear incidents)
Those who complete the course and receive 80% or higher on the final exam will become a verified AHLS Provider for a period of four years. At the end of those four years, an online re-verification exam is required, if within six months of expiration. Those with expired verification for longer than six months must attend a live course to become re-verified.
AHLS Instructor Course
The AHLS Instructor Course is a six hour continuing education course for those interested in becoming AHLS Instructors. The course is limited to those who are eligible to become verified Providers - physicians, paramedics (EMT-P), nurses, pharmacists, and toxicologists.
Qualified participants become verified AHLS Providers and/or Instructor for a period of four years upon successful completion of the course. Re-verification can be done by taking an exam online to become re-verified for an additional four years.
AHLS Instructor Course covers:
- AHLS Policies & Procedures
- How to Conduct an AHLS Program
- Adult Education Teaching Tools
- Mini Lecture Series
AHLS also provides two half-day courses, derived from the AHLS Provider course. The AHLS for Chemical Burns and Toxic Products of Combustion is a four hour course designed to fill partial requirements of the US Health Resources Service Administration (HRSA) Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program (BHPP) for the care of burn victims of terrorism attacks.
The AHLS for Toxic Terrorism: Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Agent Casualties Course is a four hour course that focuses on the essentials needed for treating patients exposed to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.
These courses are for continuing education credit and do not provide verification.
There is additionally an online Basic Hazmat Life Support (BHLS) course for EMT-Basics.
- Walter, FG. Advanced Hazmat Life Support Provider Manual, 3rd ed, Tucson, AZ, 2003.
- Meislin, HM. Advanced Hazmat Life Support Instructor Manual, 2nd ed, Tucson, AZ, 2003.