St. Lawrence Health

CPH Staff Undergo Decon Training

Staff are donned in protective gear as they work on a "patient" during a hands-on training.

Jun. 7, 2023 3   min read

POTSDAM, NY Members from three departments at Canton-Potsdam Hospital recently completed a training session that included learning about decontamination.

St. Lawrence Health Emergency Management Hospital Emergency Response Trainer (HERT) Donna Wilson lead the training that revolved around a mass casualty scenario. Canton-Potsdam Hospital Environmental Services, Facilities Management, and Security staff members were donned in protective gear as the patient (mannequin) involved was exposed to an unidentified chemical.

While inside a “pop up” decontamination tent set up outside, the team had to go thru the steps of cutting away the patient’s clothing and bagging them, then washing her hair and body to rid her of the chemical.

“Training for scenarios like this are important to work out the logistical set up of the equipment and staff should they ever be faced with an actual chemical emergency crisis,” Ms. Wilson said. “In a real situation, people who have been contaminated by hazardous agents may seek medical treatment, and the emergency responders will be donned in the proper attire, and have the equipment to remove the contaminate from the patient before being taken into the hospital.”

A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Center for Domestic Preparedness certificate was presented to each staff member upon completion of the training. Environmental Services employees involved in the training were Nick Pomainville and Robert Toomey; Facilities personnel were Dereck Dodd and Jason Mullen, and Security members were Alex Kot and Chris Sikkens.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital is located at 50 Leroy Street in Potsdam, and is a Level III Trauma Center.