Story Number: NNS140905-05Release Date: 9/5/2014 1:02:00 PM
By Jennifer Zingalie, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Public Affairs
AGANA HEIGHTS, GUAM (NNS) -- Sailors from U.S. Naval Hospital Guam participated in 'Warm zone,' First Receiver Operations Training (FROT), Sept. 4.
Observers from three local agencies also participated in the training to include, Naval Base Guam Fire and Emergency Service, Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, and Guam Medical Regional Center.
"These incidents are about savings lives," said Brett Wallace the hospital's emergency manager.
The purpose of the training is to provide participants the opportunity to practice dressing in their Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) suits, setting up a decontamination tent, and decontaminating patients involved in a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident.
"Patients involved in any such incident must be decontaminated before medical treatment can be administered," said Wallace. "Decontamination of patients serves to protect medical providers from becoming contaminated which could render them a casualty, making them a patient and disabling from providing further medical treatment."
During the training Sailors have approximately 15 minutes to dress in their HAZMAT suits as well as set up the decontamination tent. Once everything is set up the Sailors are ready to receive both ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients.
There are three stations on the outside and inside of the tent, one side is known as the "dirty side" with the other side as the "clean". The job of the Sailors is to first identify the agent and where it is on the body. Second they perform a triage, where Sailors must decide which patients will need treatment first. The last step is to perform the decontamination which consists of stripping a patient, discarding all decontaminated clothing and scrubbing the patient with hot soapy water.
Once the patient has been washed he or she is sent to the end of the tent, where a Sailor begins gently applying M9 chemical agent detection tape all over the patient. Afterward, if the patient is still "dirty" he or she is sent back through for further decontamination.
"These drills prepare us for whatever can happen," said Wallace. "Living on an island makes this even more important. Working together with our local agencies ensures we are all ready to respond, that we are all able to care for the sick and injured."