Health & Safety

January 31, 2013

In-place patient decontamination tent comes to Tucson Air Guard

Tags:
1st Lt. Angela Walz
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. David Neve)
Members of the 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson Ariz. construct a shelter used for the decontamination of patients affected by chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) contamination. Medical Counter (MC)-CBRN equipment packages such as this are being positioned at Air National Guard installations throughout the United Sates to support domestic operations involving the accidental or intentional terrorist use of CBRN materials.

Between Jan. 15-18, 13 Airmen total were trained by instructors from the National Guard Bureau at the 162nd Fighter Wing on the city’s newest asset – an in-place patient decontamination shelter for the effective decontamination of both ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients and casualties affected by chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) contamination.

Medical Counter (MC)-CBRN equipment packages such as this are being positioned at Air National Guard installations throughout the United States to support domestic operations involving the accidental or intentional terrorist use of CBRN materials. “They are intended to fulfill the 0-6 hour emergency response window that exists prior to the arrival and employment of more robust local, state, federal or Department of Defense CBRN assets, said Master Sgt. Cally Handa from the 162nd Bioenvironmental Engineering office.

“This is a great capability and a valuable tool that is available to our unit or that can be deployed to support other operations within the Tucson area,” said 1st Lt. Jason Gutierrez, 162nd Fighter Wing executive officer.

The MC-CBRN package received by the 162nd Fighter Wing includes a patient decontamination (PD) system, bioenvironmental engineering CBRN response equipment, triage assembly and medical supplies. The PD system is manned by 12 full-time base employees (one medical program manager and 11 non-medical full-time employees) from the wing.

Some contaminants (i.e., nerve, blood or mustard agents) do most of their damage within the first few minutes of exposure, so time is of the essence. For that reason, drill status Guardsmen are not selected for the PD teams, and additional personnel are trained as back-up.

“In the event of a CBRNE incident, the PD package will allow us to sanitize up to 100 individuals from any suspected/confirmed substance in a six hour time-line,” said Public Health NCOIC here, Master Sgt. Tracey Jorgensen. “Having this team of trained volunteers is really appreciated since it gives us the capability to support our base populace and the local community in the event of a CBRNE event,” she said.

The PD team trained on their operational functions of the PD, and they practiced donning their personal protective equipment (PPE) and having the shelter erected and operational within 20 minutes. The PD operates at the Medical Group or another pre-designated site.

Site selection takes into account the need for a water heater to be set up within 100 feet of a fire hydrant. The PD team was trained on the procedure for hooking up and disconnecting from the hydrant as well as how to flush the hydrant. The water heater can operate on electricity or diesel fuel. The diesel fuel must be on-hand at all times.

Patient flow through the decontamination process begins with triage at the “dirty or warm” end of the shelter. Triage is designed to provide a quick evaluation of the patient’s condition and thus establish their priority for decontamination. Following triage, patients remove clothing and valuables and begin processing from one end of the shelter through to the other. PD personnel accomplish self-decontamination before removing their own PPE.

Contaminated run-off from the operation is pumped into a bladder and contained until the level of contamination is determined. The water is disposed of in accordance with local and federal regulations based on the level of contamination.

The PD, in essence, is the “gatekeeper” during a CBRN incident, protecting the mission, the installation and personnel from contamination.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Officials highlight health, wellness resources for Military Families

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 – As efforts continue to strengthen service members and their families, Pentagon officials held a Bloggers Roundtable to highlight the myriad resources available to tackle the unique military and transitional challenges those who serve may face. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy Rosemary Freitas Williams, Marine Corps...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Jarrod Grammel)

Maintaining fitness standards during the holidays is important

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — During the holidays, going to the gym usually isn’t on the top of most peoples’ priority list. Priority is given to visiting families, planning vacations, and most important, indulging in...
 
 
162FW_pict

162nd Wing facilitates interagency training for active shooter exercise

Active-shooter exercises are common within government facilities and military bases, and most of them seem to surround a single entity neutralizing a threat by force. Very seldom, however, do these training events involve an en...
 

 

Health Benefits Program open season dates set

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Open season for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the Federal Flexible Spending Accounts Program will run Nov. 10 through Dec. 8, officials announced recently. During open season employees and retirees will have the chance to review their current plans and make any changes they desire for...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

NDMS exercise brings mass of emergency responders to D-M

D-M partnered with multiple emergency response agencies from the surrounding community for a National Disaster Medical System exercise that took place here Nov. 5. The exercise allowed key stakeholders to improve readiness in t...
 
 

AF authorizes medical benefits for some separatees

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force senior leaders announced adjustments to benefits for Airmen separated under the fiscal year 2014 Voluntary Separation Pay (VSP) program Oct. 31. Based on inconsistent issuance and confusion with transitional medical benefits for Airmen separating under the VSP program, the Air Force requested clarification from the Office of the Secretary of...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin