First-responders, medical personnel train for HAZMAT decontamination

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County firefighters, police officers and medical personnel recently received refresher training in decontaminating people affected by hazardous materials, such as dangerous chemicals, which could injure the first-responders if special steps are not taken to protect them.
In case of a hazardous material spill, first-responders have to put on full-body protective gear that includes hooded headwear, outerwear, overboots and two sets of gloves, all of which are sealed shut with special tape.
Nine classes were held over two weeks to accommodate those who needed the training, and each class consisted of first a photo presentation in a classroom format with firefighter trainer Brent Rudd speaking on the subject, followed by practice in actually donning the HAZMAT suits. Attendees worked in teams of two to help each other put on the large, awkward gear.
Parkview Regional ER Director Teri LaFoy helped in the classroom portion with additional comments and input.
Parkview and the Fire Department sponsored the training, and personnel from both of those entities attended, about 30 total, meeting at the Mexia Fire Department. Also participating were personnel from the Mexia Police Department, Limestone Medical Center and LMC’s EMS.
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