Oswego Hospital Holds Yearly Decontamination Drill

Oswego Hospital staff members practiced for a disaster they hope will never occur.

Some 40 hospital employees wore protective suits as they hosed down victims exposed to a hazardous substance in a special tent who were then triaged outside the hospital’s emergency entrance on September 19.

It was all a part of the healthcare facility’s annual decontamination drill.

Oswego Hospital Holds Yearly Decontamination Drill
Oswego Hospital Holds Yearly Decontamination Drill

The drill’s fictitious scenario involved a truck that overturns during a busy Oswego farmers’ market, which is carrying dry potash, or potassium hydroxide.

As a result of the accident, those at the event experience tearing, pain, impaired vision, nausea and breathing difficulties.

Under the drill, rather than wait for emergency services personnel to respond to the scene, the frightened, anxious and sickened individuals decide to immediately report directly to Oswego Hospital.

Playing the role of the victims were students from Oswego County BOCES New Vision Allied Health and Government and Law Programs.

About 50 students from throughout the county role played throughout the drill.

Coordinating the drill was Paul Vandish, Oswego Health Director of Quality and Risk Management.

Participating in the drill were more than 40 staff members from numerous hospital departments.

Observing the drill were members of the Oswego City Fire Department, NYS Department of Health, Oswego County Emergency Management office, Oswego County Fire Coordinator’s office and the Oswego County Health Department.