TORRINGTON – Community Hospital held its annual decontamination exercise for employees Tuesday.
Teams from the emergency department and emergency management planned for incidents including hazardous chemical exposures or spills. Members of the decontamination team are from various areas of the hospital and volunteer to learn the additional skills needed to respond to hazmat situations.
Possible hazardous materials risks to Torrington residents include:
• Exposure to chemicals used in agriculture, including pesticides, fertilizers and fuel.
• Accidents involving railcars or semis transporting chemicals through the county, including the lime used at the sugar factory.
The decontamination team trains year-round for the possibility of an event. The training includes full-scale, mock-disaster exercises, with actors posing as patients.
The team follows a number of steps during a response including:
• Learning about the event and planning a response
• Setting up the decontamination tent
• Suiting up members of the team
• Checking a patients injuries for appropriate response
• Helping patients decontaminate themselves
• Move patients to get the care they need.