From A Field Guide to Infectious
Agents and Biotoxins:
Blood Borne Pathogens, Part
Two, Qualitative -- Instructor's Guide
Good morning, and welcome to
the Fire and Rescue Training Academy. This course is Blood Borne Pathogens,
Part Two, Qualitative. I will be your instructor, [your name and rank].
You should only be in this
room if you have already completed Blood Borne Pathogens, Part One, Quantitative.
Is there anyone here who hasn't taken and passed Part One? [Verify
that all students have done so.] Good. This class, Part Two, will
review and reinforce much of the information that was presented to you
in Part One.
Before we begin, please fill
out your Course Tracking Card. In section one, please write your name
-- last name, followed by first name. In section two, write the date,
which is [indicate current date]. In section three, please write
your fire or rescue company number. In section four, please write the
number of continuing education credits you will receive for this course,
which is three. [Allow time for all students to complete their Course
In the first part of this session,
I will present the qualitative information on sections one and two: What
are Blood Borne Pathogens? and What is Body Substance Isolation? We will
take a short break between sections one and two.
Section One: What are Blood
A river of blood encircles
the earth. It is the plasma of creation. It is tinged with the hues of
birth -- blue breathless gasps and deep red oxygen flares. It emits from
the heaving, volcanic heart of the unknowable universe. The river flows
through cavities blasted out in the pressure wave of genesis and rubbed
smooth in timeless flow. You live within it, a fish adrift in an ocean
beyond your understanding. It knows you, surrounds you and sustains you.
It flows through you. Your body is almost invisible to it -- not even
faint airspaces or a sketch of bones mark your life. But the river recognizes
and enfolds you like a pregnant woman with one gentle hand laid over her
In this river you float, along
with every other living creature on the earth. You are nothing but a trace
outline which the river fills with its fluids. You share this amnion with
everyone else you will ever know.
[Show slide #1: "State
of Universal Communion with the River of Life."]
Millennia pass in a saline
blur. The you that is you begins with a simple skein of membrane, thin
as an idea. It is an edge, beyond which you end and the river begins.
This single whisper of tissue becomes a wedge the carves out your life
from the unformed medium of the universe. Past and future fall to either
side of it.
You discover that a change
introduced on one side of the membrane does not always pass across it.
The currents and temperate swirls of the river fail to roil the fluid
within your borders. Your twitches and acid burbling remain enclosed,
wholly your own. You are self.
[Show slide #2: "The
Membranous Division Into Self and Not-Self"]
[Show slide #3: "Congruence
of Nested Systems (Fractal Pattern)"]
You have become a river, with
your source conjoined to your effluence. The bloodwaters wend through
the smooth caves of your inner core. Within your river, new skins enclose
the tiny lights of dependent lives, the soft miracle of edges. Their pores
open and close wordlessly, swallowing your sustenance and expelling their
You float in the river of blood
that girds this earth. You stretch open your intakes and ingest the life
giving plasma. You squeeze out moist breaths and the unused remains of
your sustenance. You devour the river of creation and leave behind that
which is culmination of your desires, built in the material of your own
The luminescent tide of other
lives passes through you, consuming and reconstructing you according to
their own unknowable ends.
Are there any questions on
the material I've presented in section one? [Allow students to ask
questions on this material.]
We'll now take a five-minute
break before we begin Section Two. Please be in your chairs promptly at