Multi-capable Airmen participate in Chemical Decon Training

  • Published
  • By Airman Jordan Colvin
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 4th Medical Group In-Place Patient Decontamination Team participated in a simulated mass chemical warfare exercise at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, March 2 – 3, 2021.

During the exercise, Airmen learned how to quickly handle an emergency situation involving mass contamination.

“Mass contamination events can be anything from a biochemical agent to a nuclear accident or something like a radiological dispersal device that doesn’t even have to explode,” said Maria Danielson, decontamination education and consulting trainer. “In these events, victims will rush to the nearest medical treatment location.”

In a real-world event where people are exposed to harmful chemical agents, they would be decontaminated before being medically treated.
“They [the IPPD team] are basically the shield for the medical treatment facility,” said Ramirez “Their mission is to make sure patients are clean enough to come in for medical treatment.”

To successfully complete the training and receive their certifications, the 12-person team had to set up a tent, water heater and have four personnel suited up in Powered Air-Purifying Respirator gear within 15 minutes. After that, the rest of the team had to be geared up within an additional five minutes.

August 2019 was the last time the IPPD team held an official training, however, they aim to complete this training at least once a year, said Ramirez having more Airmen equipped with the training is essential, to keeping the base safe.

The IPPD team decontaminated one simulated non-ambulatory patient and one ambulatory patient, setting up two lanes in a tent to clean both patients at the same time before they could proceed for further medical treatment.

“IPPD training is a critical capability the Strike Eagle Medics deliver to our wing,” said Col. William Malloy, 4th MDG, commander. “We pride ourselves on having fully trained and ready medical warriors. The decontamination process is a specialized skill that we never want to use, however, if the nation requires it, we will be ready to answer the call.”