First-Receiver Operations Training ensures sailors’ CBRN readiness
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- U.S. Navy sailors from Robert M. Casey Medical and Dental Clinic tested their skills in first-receiver operations training at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, June 9, 2016.
Provided by the Decontamination, Education and Consulting on Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Limited Liability Company, the course educates first receivers in conducting decontamination, field treatment and saving victims from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
“The course focuses on protecting the team’s medical assets such as the staff and medical facility,” said Susan Osborne, a CBRN instructor with DECON, LLC. “The team must be able to don their suit, set up a decontamination area, manage and treat casualties, and effectively and efficiently decontaminate patients prior to entering the medical facility.”
The sailors received classroom instruction about equipment familiarization, historic CBRN incidents, and different types of components and symptoms associated with hazardous materials.
“The branch health clinic has a mission to provide CBRN decontamination capabilities,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas J. Slocum, emergency manager with the clinic. “First-receiver operations training will be offered twice a year to help maintain trained personnel.”
Medical personnel later tested their abilities when dealing with CBRN patients by donning disposable-toxicological-agent-protective suits to assemble a three-line articulating frame shelter system, which enables victims to be processed as quickly as possible.
“The first day of training focuses on identifying the contaminant based on the patients symptoms and reactions,” said Slocum. “The second day of training is the hands-on use of the gear and the time trial for setting up and processing patients. The final test is going through a full set up, triage and processing of ambulatory and non-ambulatory patients.”
Based out of Biloxi, Mississippi, DECON, LLC has provided CBRN training to sailors within the clinic for three years, and helps them to become competent in their abilities and maintain their medical readiness training.
Conducting this training helps refresh sailors on their tactical skill sets specific to CBRN response, maintain situational readiness and ensures the safety of personnel.
“DECON capabilities are a large piece to the clinic’s ability to respond to an emergency event,” said Slocum. “We collaborate heavily with the base CBRN team, which is vital to our ability to respond to a situation. I hope we never have a full CBRN event on base; however, this training assures the clinic maintains readiness in its ability to treat patients exposed to such incidents.”