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.


 
 

 

Keep holiday sweet tooth in check

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Assorted sweets are a big attraction on display in stores and are advertised in television commercials. Despite the effort to escape purchasing them and knowing they’re not healthy, people still tend to crave, buy and gobble them up. On top of the negative impact these treats have on health...
 
 

Stay fit through season of celebrations

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Tis the season for family get-togethers, office holiday parties and cookie drives. What do these events have in common? Food … lots of food. As people load their plates with cakes and pies, getting a good workout drops on the priority list. Why do people fall into this annual holiday trap?...
 
 

VA expands eligibility related to Military Sexual Trauma

Washington, DC – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), under authority from the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (“VACAA”),  today announced expanded eligibility for Veterans in need of mental health care due to sexual assault or sexual harassment that occurred during their military service. This trauma is commonly known as military sexual...
 

 

Resiliency in numbers

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Most Airmen have probably heard the expression “there’s strength in numbers.” Most Airmen have also probably heard of Comprehensive Airmen Fitness. When it comes to building resiliency, the two are not unrelated. The four domains of comprehensive fitness are mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness, which enhance resilience...
 
 

Pillars of Resiliency: Holiday budgeting

Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas — For most, the holidays are a time of joy, celebration, and family reunions. For others, the season can emphasize stressors, such as family separation, traveling, and last minute workload. The holidays are also the toughest time of the year when it comes to financial budgeting. The lights, music, decorations and delicious...
 
 
Selfie_pict

Click, Click, Boom!

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — It all begins with a duck-face, a peace sign and a selfie. From there, a photo taken in front of the dining facility at Forward Operating Base Wherever is posted to Airman Duck-f...
 




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