By 1st Lt. Luz Apontè, Public Affairs Officer, 177th Fighter Wing
The 177th Fighter Wing Medical Group demonstrated the new In-Place Patient Decontamination Capability (IPPDC) facility to members of the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey Center for Biodefense and local emergency medical service units Nov. 18.
The mobile decontamination facility – a specially designed tent, is the first of its kind at a New Jersey Air National Guard base. It is designed to decontaminate both ambulatory and non-ambulatory victims exposed to biological or chemical agents before they enter a medical facility. Decontamination team members wear protective suits during the process.
The process is simple: before entering the facility, victims are asked to place their clothes and personal effects into a plastic bag that is tagged with a serial number. A tag is then tied to the patient’s wrist to account for the victim’s belongings. The patient then enters the tent, which contains a shower area, to clean and rinse off.
Victims who are unable to clean themselves are placed on a stretcher. The team removes the victim’s clothing and places the patient and stretcher on a 16-foot long track. As the victim is rolled down the track, the team thoroughly washes the patient to ensure he or she is decontaminated. After the victims are cleaned, they are then transported to a medical facility for evaluation and treatment.
The 177th Medical Group is one of two decontamination teams in the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Region II area, which covers New Jersey and New York.
Wing Gets First Woman Chief
Chief Master Sgt. Perry is the first woman Chief Master Sergeant at the 177th Fighter Wing. She joined the Wing May 28, 1982.
Chief Perry is the Superintendent of the Mission Support Flight. She began her career in Maintenance Administration with the Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Photo by Master Sgt. Donald Taggart, 177FW/MultiMedia Center.