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    NHB Sailors Suit Up to Prepare for the Worst

    NHB Sailors Suit Up to Prepare for the Worst

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Meagan Christoph | 190821-N-XT693-0095 NAVAL HOSPITAL BREMERTON, Wash. (Aug. 21, 2019) Sailors assigned...... read more read more

    BREMERTON, WA, UNITED STATES

    08.19.2019

    Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Meagan Christoph 

    Naval Hospital Bremerton

    A large, yellow tent full of neon green hoses stood outside Naval Hospital Bremerton while a group of people in yellow suits unfolded a shiny, metallic blanket.

    The scene looked like something straight out of a science-fiction movie.

    It was not.

    It was Sailors assigned to Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) completing decontamination (DECON) training Aug. 21, 2019.

    The three-day, semi-annual training was held to teach new staff members joining the DECON team and to recertify the other team members.

    Terry Lerma, NHB’s emergency manager, said Sailors learn how to properly use “chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive detection equipment, how to treat any victims of different chemical, biological or radiological agents or exposure, and how to decontaminate ambulatory and non-ambulatory victims.”

    Prior to conducting the training the DECON team will complete a full scale inventory by counting all of their supplies, and testing all components of the equipment so that the instructor can verify the system is operable.

    NHB’s DECON team is made of up 75 Sailors, including DECON team lead Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Erin Shelly-Moody.

    Shelly-Moody’s job is to oversee the Sailors’ training and educate them on how to take charge in smaller groups. This iteration he oversaw and worked alongside TJ Bocek, an instructor from DECON Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to make sure the training was completed in a timely and accurate manner.

    “Our goal time is to get at least four people dressed out in protective gear and have a tent up in is less than 15 minutes. We usually complete it in less than that time,” said Shelly-Moody.

    Speed and accuracy are important so that any exposed victims can be decontaminated, preventing further contamination.

    “The training emphasizes the importance of speed in setting up and activating the portable DECON shower so that any exposed victims are decontaminated before they actually enter a building, and don’t contaminate the inside of the hospital like what happened in the Tokyo Metro incident in Japan,” said Lerma, alluding to the 1995 event when a human-made chemical warfare agent called sarin was released on three lines of the Japanese subway system in an act of domestic terrorism. Victims ran from the metro to local hospitals, but were not decontaminated before entering the hospitals. Their clothing, covered in sarin, further contaminated people by releasing the agent inside emergency rooms.

    The team also participates in smaller version of the semi-annual training every month.

    “The monthly training, while only one or two components at a time, helps develop muscle memory and proficiency so that all members of the NHB DECON team are proficient in as many different positions as possible,” said Lerma. “You never know who will be onboard when an emergency happens, and doing DECON training helps develop that skill set for something we hope never really happens.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.19.2019
    Date Posted: 08.26.2019 16:02
    Story ID: 337490
    Location: BREMERTON, WA, US 

    Web Views: 102
    Downloads: 1
    Podcast Hits: 0

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