OSWEGO – Oswego Hospital staff members put the healthcare facility’s chemical decontamination plan into action May 12 as they practiced for an event they hope never occurs.
The drill’s fictitious scenario involved high school students attending a sporting event at a park when an explosion occurs in a nearby storage shed.
The cause of the explosion was believed to be Malathion, a highly toxic organophosphate pesticide.
While there were no physical injuries due to the simulated explosion, several students experienced symptoms that included difficulty breathing and swallowing, stinging and tearing of the eyes, stomach nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness and headache.
Under the drill, the victims, who were New Vision students from the Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation (CiTi), self-reported to the hospital rather than wait for emergency services personnel to respond to the scene.
This also allowed the students to act out potential situations that are likely occur during an actual event.
Coordinating the drill was Paul Vandish, Oswego Health Director of Risk Management.
Participating in the drill were more than 40 staff members from numerous hospital departments.
On hand to observe the drill were members of the Oswego Fire Department; Dale Currier, Oswego County Emergency Management Director and several Oswego County EMS personnel.