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Heads up: Full-scale hazmat disaster training set for Thursday in front of Kishwaukee Hospital

DeKALB – Those driving by or heading into Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital on Thursday may witness what looks like a disaster scene, but don’t be alarmed: it’s just a drill.

A full-scale hazardous materials exercise will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday to give first responders a chance to practice working together in the event of an actual emergency event involving hazardous substances, said Kim Waterman, media relations manager for Northwestern Medicine.

“The scenario will simulate a hazardous material exposure to community members at a local event,” Waterman said. “We will simulate triage, decontamination of exposed victims, and treatment of chemical burns.”

The training will include staging the scene to look like a real emergency, with volunteers from the community who will act out scenarios so those involved can have a more realistic experience, Waterman said.

Emergency responders will involve members of the Northwestern Medicine Emergency Medical Services, DeKalb County Hazmat Team, the DeKalb Fire Department and EMS, Ridge Ambulance and ATec Ambulance, who will work through scenarios designed to improve their coordination, response times and training plans.

Waterman said the hospital’s emergency staff have been training for four months to ensure they are adequately prepared to respond in the event a real emergency.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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