BDLS is an 8-hour, in depth training course designed to meet the urgent needs of emergency situations. it provides common organizational plans, terminology, methods of scene evaluation and victim classification for disaster recognition and response. The coures introduces the "D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R" paradigm, "mass triage" and management of "all-hazards" events due to chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, explosive and natural disasters. The course also discusses the healthcare provider's role in the public health and incident management systems, as well as community mental health.
The American Medical Association grants BDLS Provider status to persons who successfully complete the course. A medical background is not required to participate in this course, but may be useful.