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News | March 3, 2022

Hazmat decontamination training prepares Sailors for real-world incidents

By Macy Hinds

A group of 15 Sailors from Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pearl Harbor completed First Receiver Operations Training (FROT) at Branch Health Clinic Makalapa, Thursday, February 17.

This yearly requirement teaches Sailors to properly decontaminate patients prior to administering medical care in the event of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, or Nuclear (CBRN) incident.

Per the Navy Medicine FROT Training Manual, “Students {were} introduced to potential contaminants terrorists may use; ways to identify contaminants using basic detection equipment, signs/symptoms of agents; triage of victims; decontaminants necessary to remove contaminants; and most importantly, how to effectively decontaminate patients.”

The training spanned three days, each focusing on a different component of medical triage and decontamination. The first day consisted of setting up equipment and conducting an inventory functions check. A didactic lecture followed on the second day and the training concluded with a cumulative timed exercise on the third day. Participants suited up in full personal protective equipment, set up a decontamination tent, and practiced triaging and decontaminating incoming patients under time restraints.

This hands-on training empowers students to react appropriately under pressure in the case of CBRN incident.

“I feel confident in the student’s ability to triage and decontaminate victims in real world settings, especially with the group that just went through,” said Hospital Corpsman First Class Corey Holmes, FROT Team Leader at Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command Pearl Harbor. “They brought up good ideas to make operations run even more effectively.”

Upon completion, each student received a certificate from Decontamination Education and Consulting on Nuc/Bio/Chem (DECON, LLC) for completion of Navy Medical FROT and Hazardous Waste Operation and Emergency Response (HAZOPER) First Responder Operations Level Training.

All Active Duty personnel and GS civilians with at least one year remaining at the Command may participate in the training held twice a year.
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