Washing away: medical decontamination training

  • Published
  • By Samuel King Jr.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - More than 60 active duty, reservists and guardsmen medics received critical chemical/biological deployment training here June 21-26.

The required training consisted of classroom instruction and a field exercise in which the Airmen would operate a decontamination tent.  Simulated injured and contaminated victims would enter the tent and the medical Airmen would process them through various levels of decontamination.

The Airmen would remove contaminated equipment and clothing from the simulated wounded who could not do it for themselves.  Then, the victims would be rinsed and scrubbed to ensure any contaminates were removed.  Once through the decontamination process, the victims would receive treatment for wounds, ailments, etc.

The training typically requires the Airmen to attend the training course based at Camp Bullis in Texas.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a backlog and many deployable medics are now overdue for the training.

To help fulfill the training need, mobile contamination training teams and equipment are being sent directly to units to meet the requirements.  The 96th Medical Group was one of the first units to participate in this new format, according to Jeff Miller, 96th MDG Medical Emergency Manager.

The large group, which consisted of 96th and 88th MDG Airmen and Reserve and guardsmen from seven units were split in two groups for two full training sessions over the six days.