Greenwich Hospital Conducts Hazardous Material Decontamination Drill 

Greenwich Hospital conducted a decontamination drill on Tuesday to enhance its ability to provide emergency medical care in the event of an incident involving an accidental or deliberate spill or release of hazardous chemical, biological or radioactive materials.

Greenwich Hospital Emergency Department personnel wearing decontamination protective gear listen to instructions from a member of Yale New Haven Health Office of Emergency Preparedness. Photo: Greenwich Hospital

Greenwich Hospital’s Alison Barlow (left) and Annmarie Tredennick, RN, practice rinsing hazardous materials off a 185-pound mannequin in the decontamination tent. Photo: Greenwich Hospital

“We want to keep our patients and employees safe,” said John Pelazza, manager, Hospital Preparedness, Yale New Haven Health’s Office of Emergency Preparedness.

The drill was a collaboration between Greenwich Hospital’s Emergency Department, Yale New Haven Health Office of Emergency Preparedness and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service (GEMS). Twenty-three hospital employees participated, in addition to two from GEMS. The exercise is a required step toward Greenwich Hospital achieving a Trauma Level III designation.

As part of the training, participants practiced how to don and doff protective suits that they would wear in a real emergency. Several employees took part in a walk-through exercise through the decontamination tent using a 185-pound mannequin as a patient.

“The goal is to get the hazardous material off the individuals as quickly as possible to minimize damage to the affected area and prevent exposing others to the hazard,” Pelazza said.

Greenwich Hospital erected a decontamination tent in the Emergency Department ambulance bay area during a drill to enhance preparedness in the event of an incident involving hazardous material. Photo: Greenwich Hospital