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.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Memorial Day weekend safety tips

Memorial Day weekend is coming up, for most service members that means getting on the road and traveling for the first long weekend of the summer. During this holiday weekend more people will be traveling, which makes it import...
 
 

Peer-to-peer service aims to provide counseling support

WASHINGTON – Starting this summer, the Defense Department will offer an additional counseling service to help military service members, transitioning troops and family members deal with a host of issues before they become crises. Peer-to-peer support, which will be available through Military OneSource, will offer assistance from counselors who have at least a master’s degree...
 
 

Honest answers to sexual assault myths

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to address three persistent myths regarding the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) program. These myths include a commander’s ability to start, stop or otherwise hinder a sexual assault investigation; what agencies can...
 

 
Donor_pict

Military spouse seeks donor for kidney transplant

Looking at Tawanna Clapp you wouldn’t guess that she spends 21 hours a week on dialysis. Tawanna was diagnosed with focal glomerulosclerosis, FSGS, in 1996 during a routine physical for college. According to the National Kidn...
 
 

Enroll newborns in TRICARE within 60 days of birth

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. — Service members are reminded to enroll their newborns into TRICARE within 60 days of birth or 120 days in overseas areas. When newborns are not enrolled within the first 60 days of birth, this can cause claims processing issues and parents incur costly out-of-pocket expenses. Members who want their...
 
 

Tobacco-use AFI changes

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  — Air Force Instruction 40-102, Tobacco Free Living, was recently updated to give Airmen a simplified definition of what is defined as tobacco, as well as additional regulations for smoking in privately owned vehicles. According to the AFI, tobacco includes all products that may be configured to deliver nicotine, including but not...
 




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