Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb was the site of a full-scale hazmat drill Thursday.
Local firefighters and paramedics worked with hospital staff on how to treat victims of a chemical accident. This includes suiting up in protective gear, de-contaminating patients, and transporting them to the hospital. DeKalb firefighter Patrick Eriksen says emergency workers need to be prepared for everything.
It’s giving us more of a practice to dealing with the different types of chemicals and how to properly clean them. There’s so many different ways and so many different methods," he said.
Residents playing the role of victims were cleaned up by paramedics and firefighters. Then they were brought to the hospital to be triaged, decontaminated, and sent to a doctor. The drill also allowed hospital staff to practice working jointly with DeKalb firefighters, medics, and hazmat teams, county emergency services, and several private ambulance services. That way, they can effectively coordinate when there’s a real emergency.