Volunteers Needed July 26-28, morning and afternoon sessions

The Johnson County Med-Act’s Hazmat Medical Support team is collaborating with the Shawnee Fire Department for training in the month of July. Volunteers are needed to pose as victims for the training. To volunteer, please contact Ben Gleeson, bgleeson@jocoems.org, (785)331-8136.

Full Information

Thank you for showing interest in helping out with a training for first responders in Johnson County! My name is Ben Gleeson and I am the training coordinator for Johnson County Med-Act’s Hazmat Medical Support team. For our training in the month of July we are collaborating with the Shawnee Fire Department.

All of the fire fighters of the Shawnee Fire Department and all the medical support team paramedics maintain a hazmat certification. As part of this credentialing we have to practice identifying, assessing, decontaminating and treating a large number of chemical exposure victims in a mass casualty situation.

As you might expect, it is a very easy topic to discuss the principles of but hard to put into any ‘real world’ training scenario as it requires a large number of people participating. But we want to do just that! We are looking for volunteers to help us be better prepared in case something like this should ever happen in the metro area.

Our training with be over three days in July, the 26th, 27th and the 28th. It will be the same training each day with a morning and afternoon session. We are looking for 15-25 people each session to act as victims and be processed through an emergency mass decontamination line.

The setting of the scenario will be an outdoor church picnic event that gets exposed to a chemical agent when a crop dusting plane accidentally opens its payload above them. No one will actually be exposed to anything hazardous. At most, we would dust some people with cornstarch as a stand in for the chemical.

The victim actors will be getting wet so we would ask that they wear a bathing suit or other appropriate clothing under their clothes and an undershirt if prefered. Part of this training is to make sure the responders know how to safely instruct people in removing clothing so that they are not further exposed. Some clothing, such as a button down shirts or pants will be provided so that the responders are exposed to multiple problems to solve. Once down to their base layer the victims will be instructed to walk through fog nozzles to wash any potential hazardous chemical off their body and then assessed for any sort of medical complaint. Below are some pictures of other departments doing similar trainings. Any participant in this training should anticipate something similar to these pictures.

A few victims will be given special instruction to have medical complaints that need to be identified, assessed and given priority treatment. Most likely these would mimic a mild asthma attack. Again, no one will be exposed to anything harmful and even the medication used in treatment will only be non-reactive saline solution. No needles will be involved.

The schedule for each day will be the same. Participants for the morning will need to be at the church at 9:30AM to receive instruction with the drill starting at 10:30AM and done around noon. The afternoon participants will need to be at the church around 2:30PM with the drill starting at 3:30PM and be done around 5:00PM. Training will be located at the Shawnee Fire Station #2 at 5840 Renner Road. Participants are welcome to stay from one session to the other. The firefighters and paramedics will be breaking for lunch at noon but be back at 1:00PM for a short classroom training on mass decon and a table top training on it to make sure everyone knows their role. Volunteers are welcome to sit in on these training to learn more on the topic if interested. After that is when the afternoon live action scenario will take place.

Any help would be greatly appreciated by the public safety responders as the more we learn and have chances to have these high fidelity trainings the better we can do our job.

If you would like to volunteer or have any questions please feel free to contact Ben Gleeson with the information below. We are also happy to have other volunteers, such as parents and siblings, participate as well.

Ben Gleeson

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