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 Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Micaiah Anthony)

Trick-or-treat safely this Halloween

Excitement is in the air and ghosts, ghouls, monsters and princesses will be out in mass, October 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Accidents and mishaps increase during this event. To prevent them use common sense, be aware of p...
 
 

Early HPV vaccination protects those at risk

Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity WASHINGTON – Immunization at a young age against the human papilloma virus can protect those who are typically infected in the United States –- military- or college-age young adults –- from a range of cancers as adults, an expert from the Defense Health Agency said today. Air Force...
 
 

Tip line reports illegal acts to AFOSI

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Reporting suspicious activity has become much easier. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations established a tip line for the Air Force to support the insider-threat mission. The tip line is an anonymous reporting mechanism to advise law enforcement of illegal activities. It provides an easily accessible avenue for individuals to...
 




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