Medical Airmen conduct decontamination training
By Airman 1st Class Sean Campbell, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 16, 2016
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The 92nd Medical Group conducted a 16 hour decontamination training exercise here September 15, 2016,
The biannual training reinforced the In-Place Patient Decontamination team’s role of effectively collaborating with the manpower, security and triage teams in the case a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event occurs. The training focused on improving teamwork, knowledge and communication.
Decontamination is the process of removing surface contaminants on a person or piece of equipment. This process reduces the spread of hazardous agents to other people, said Staff Sgt. Kristy Overton, 92nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron NCO in charge of the Optometry Flight.
“We must be ready to support the base. It is our responsibility to decontaminate all individuals requiring medical attention before they are admitted into the clinic,” Overton said. “We must be ready for any emergency contingency.”
Part of the In-Place Patient Decontamination team’s responsibility is to process ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients who have been exposed to a foreign substance and remove any contaminates before giving them access to the clinic or receiving further medical treatment, said Overton.
“If it is an adulatory patient, we have them sit down and remove all of their clothing,” said Capt. Dan Norman, 92nd Medical Operational Support Squadron physician’s assistant. “After that, the patient steps into one of the side lanes, a curtain is closed, and they are given a sponge with soap and warm water. The patient washes their body they then rinse and discard the sponge.”
The training is broken up into six hours of lectures, two hours of personal-protective equipment training, a one-hour written exam, six hours of hands-on equipment training and one hour of equipment cleaning.
“We do not see these situations every day, so the training provides a refresher you go through the motions keep it fresh so if it ever does happen we are ready to go,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Miller 92nd MDOS NCO in charge Family Health Clinic. “One of the important things is that this training is Air Force wide.”
The hands on portion of the training is a full test of mission capability, which includes setting up the decontamination tent and having team members put on their protective suits in less than 15 minutes. Then processing the first patient in under 20 minutes.
“It helps Fairchild with the whole readiness package, if it ever does happen we are mission capable,” Miller said “We are trained even if it is not warfare – if it is just local leaks from a factory we are are prepped and ready to go and assist the community.”