DECON team now available on Buckley


Members of the 460th Medical Group in-place patient decontamination triage and manpower/security team took part in a two-day training event July 20-21, 2016, at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.

The training, taught by Tom Bocek, Decontamination, Education and Consulting on Nuc/Bio/Chem, consisted of one-day in-class training and one day of hands-on training.

According to Capt. Kaylaen Evans, 460th Medical Group optometry element chief and DECON team chief, there were many aspects involved with the training, including supply inventory, importance of patient decontamination, how to identify contaminants, equipment set-up, including the tent and water access, understanding each person’s role, proper storage of equipment, and the overall process.

The 460th Medical Group Commander, Col. Matthew Hanson, took the time to watch the 19-person IPPD team perform their final timed exercise, where the goal was to decontaminate mock casualties from a simulated terrorist attack using a weapon of mass destruction.

“This is one of the best home-station medical response exercises that I’ve seen,” said Hanson. “The training they’ve received is outstanding. We found a handful of very manageable things that we can do to improve our capability that we will rapidly work on. Bottom line is that if a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear event happened that affected Buckley AFB, we could respond and we could keep the global space wing mission going.”

Altogether, the team received 16 hours of instruction and training that not only provided them with the know-how to decontaminate patients, but also allowed them to understand the importance of the material they were learning.

“I was very proud of them, I know they worked hard and were very motivated,” said Evans. “Even in the classroom, they were engaged and asking questions. We are all super happy and pleased with how it all turned out. We all got a better idea of why we do what we do.”

The team performed all the necessary tasks under the time constraint to become mission-capable and ready to respond to a series of events.

“We are now fully prepared for any real world event that could happen and we need the capability to decontaminate patients, save lives and also protect our people,” said Evans. “It’s important that we continue to maintain this capability.”

Even when issues would arise the IPPD team worked together to overcome them and achieve their goal of becoming fully mission capable.

“The decontamination team was dedicated, professional, as well as innovative,” said Hanson. “When the team found challenges, they worked through a lot of them in real time. They are not afraid to be aggressive and innovative and get ready not a year from now, but be ready tomorrow.”