Yesterday staff at Kemptville District Hospital took part in training for exposure to Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear and Explosive materials. The exercise involved acting out a real emergency, putting staff through the paces donning gear, using specialized equipment and timing the whole process. In Tuesday’s simulation, a college student had had a harmful chemical spilled on her clothing.
Like a scene out of the movie Silkwood, KDH is equipped with an outdoor-access showering facility so that patients that have been exposed to various hazardous materials can be treated without endangering anyone else. The water from the shower goes into a unique holding tank so that it doesn’t contaminate the local supply.
Christine O’Reilly from the KDH Joint Health & Safety committee explained the training is so important because time is of the essence in a real emergency and the procedures have to be second nature.
Last year, KDH staff completed a CBRNE training exercise with local HazMat crews that involved a large tent set up outside the hospital, with a number of showers to treat several exposed people at one time.