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    BAMC Decon team trains for potential disasters

    STRAC Decon Rodeo

    Photo By Robert Whetstone | Brooke Army Medical Center Decon team member U.S. Army Cpl. Samuel Carr gets a little...... read more read more



    Story by Robert Whetstone 

    Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs   

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, May 23, 2024 -- The Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council hosted its annual Decontamination Rodeo at their complex May 16, 2024. The rodeo is designed to help hospitals be prepared for disaster situations dealing with mass casualty events.

    Four local hospital patient decontamination teams comprised of six individuals, competed for the title of ‘Decon Rodeo Champion.’ In addition to the team from Brooke Army Medical Center, teams from Baptist Healthcare System, South Texas Veteran's Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy VAMC, and University Health also participated in the competition.

    U.S. Army Capt. Amina Zeidan, BAMC officer-in-charge of immunology and molecular diagnostic labs, is also the executive officer of the BAMC Decon team. She explained the importance of the many hours of training the BAMC team put in, not only for the competition, but for readiness.

    “Considering the amount of time, effort and energy we put into training it is expected that they do well,” said Zeidan. “It is important for us that we see that they are green (to standard) on their training, and that they are putting that effort into what they’ve been learning. It helps us know that we’re accomplishing what we should be, making sure they (BAMC Decon team) know exactly what they should be doing during an actual MASCAL (mass casualty incident). This is a good test for them.”

    STRAC had seven tasks for participating teams to execute:

    1. Timed ZUMRO Decon shelter set up (Teams demonstrate efficiency and precision in assembling shelters within a specified time limit).

    2. Timed ZUMRO Decon shelter take down (Teams demonstrate efficiency and precision in disassembling shelters within a specified time limit).

    3. Personal protective equipment suit-up and run-through: Participants showcased their proficiency in donning PPE.

    4. Decontamination process: using a mannequin, execute a flawless decontamination process of both an adult and an infant.

    5. Radiological Detection station: Participants display expertise in operating a radiological detection station, highlighting their capability to detect potential radiological hazards effectively.

    6. Written evaluation: Assess the teams' knowledge and understanding of decontamination protocols, procedures, and best practices.

    7. Communications and dexterity station: Participants pair up while wearing PPE and are separated by a partition; one team member verbally describes a building block model, while their partner must recreate the model accurately.

    The BAMC Decon team is a mixture of Army and Air Force enlisted service members. The Decon Rodeo team was comprised of U.S. Army Spc. Ceyvion Wilkins (team leader), Staff Sgt. Matthew Piggott, Cpl. Samuel Carr, Spc. Caleb Adjoodani, U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jacob Cox, Pfc. Xiaohui Yu, and alternates Spc. Keigan Deschene, and Spc. Trenton Hayslip.

    Wilkins, a BAMC nutritional care specialist and the team leader, has been with the team for two and a half years. He said there was a vacancy on the team and his chain of command chose him to fill the gap, and he cares a great deal about the mission.

    “I love decon,” said Wilkins. “When we have training events every month, I am constantly talking. I joined the Army hoping to get some medical experience for medical school in the future, and this is the most liked and most passionate I’ve been about medicine and anything relating to patient care.”

    The training can be grueling, particularly in the intense heat and humidity of south Texas. Wilkins said it is more about understanding the differences of what kind of things could go wrong.

    “We have different types of suits (personal protective equipment) for different types of situations,” explained Wilkins. “It’s understanding the big picture of what could go wrong and what changes need to be made for those scenarios.”

    BAMC took second place last year, Wilkins said his team was determined to improve on last year’s outcome. “This (the competition) is super important,” he stated. “It’s really the only time we as a hospital, get to be with STRAC and to get their input on how we’re doing things. We’re looking for that trophy…we want that!”

    Yu, an eye technician in the BAMC ophthalmology clinic, was recruited onto the team and she, like the other five members on her team, played a pivotal role during the competition.

    She talked about the experience after the final event concluded. “I feel really excited because I learned a lot,” she explained. “Working at a Level I Trauma Center, it is a good opportunity for me to learn how to decontaminate patients as a team member.”

    Yu was very complimentary of Zeidan and George Wible, BAMC emergency manager, for their leadership and guidance. In the event of an actual MASCAL, she said because of their leaders and the experience of the Decon team, they are ready to execute the tasks they’ve trained so hard to perfect.

    Zeidan said the team was doing a great job during the competition and she is very proud of them. Whether they bring home the trophy or not, the team has been paying attention in training.

    The results were similar to last year with University Health taking first place, and BAMC close behind in second.

    “It’s not about the trophy,” said Zeidan. “It’s about showing that if and when something does happen, BAMC is the best place for those patients to be, and we can ensure they’re going to get the best care when something does occur.”


    Date Taken: 05.23.2024
    Date Posted: 05.23.2024 22:06
    Story ID: 472204

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