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Published on November 02, 2016

UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital Decontamination Team members attend Homeland Security training

UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital’s Nursing Professional Development Specialist, Lynn Drake, RN, and nursing staff member, Cindie Palmer, HCA, both members of the hospital’s decontamination team are being recognized for completing a week long Department of Homeland Security emergency preparedness training course. The course they completed, the Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) for Mass Casualties, is available to healthcare professionals and first responders nationally, and was offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), in Anniston, Alabama.

The program’s main focus was to help prepare both Lynn and Cindie to provide safe and effective emergency medical response to victims during a mass casualty or decontamination event, while also protecting the hospital and staff from becoming contaminated themselves during such an event. While in Alabama, Lynn and Cindie participated in two full scale intense exercises involving decontaminating procedures, while at the same time providing medical care to approximately 40 victims in the first exercise and 80 victims in the second.

At the end of the program Lynn and Cindie participated in teaching back to the other 33 program participants a portion of the class material in order to obtain their “Train the Trainer” certificate. Lynn and Cindie successfully completed the five day class and are now both approved by the federal government to offer HERT training anywhere in New York State.

Lynn and Cindy were the only two participants in the Central New York area to take and complete the course during this year’s session. Lynn commented on the course and experience, “I have been involved with decontamination preparation for many years at UHS Chenango Memorial, but this intensive course did a great job bringing all my training and preparedness to a new level. I now feel more competent to train the latest procedures and techniques to the staff of UHS Chenango Memorial so that we are ready should we ever have a decontamination &/or mass casualty experience arrive at the hospital.”

The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and offers more than 40 training courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response, and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act.

If anyone is interested in becoming part of the UHS Chenango Memorial’s Decontamination Team or wish to learn more about the CDP and its programs– please contact Lynn at 4055 or e-mail her at Lynn_Drake@uhs.org.

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Pictured l to r: Lynn Drake, RN, Cindie Palmer, HCA