Thread: Mass Decon

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    Default Mass Decon

    Ok our department has just started looking hard at our procedures for mass deconin the past year or so. So far this is what they have figured for a quick inital set up can somebody help me with any improvements that could be made to this plan.

    The quick line is set up between two engine companies with two or three ladders drapped across each with a 1 3/4" preconnect drapped over (wide fog) and connectd by hose chains. each engine also has two side discharges with TFT nozzles attached to them and on a wide fog as well. Also running over head is a section of 2 1/2" hose for water supply. This is all done with hydrant pressure if possible. Also at the entrance and exit there is supposed to be a firefighter in proper ppe with a booster line to do pre-wash and final flush. We have discussed adding ladder pipes into it, but so far this is our main plan. We have a inflatable tent that FEMA gave us after a big WMD excercise at Ft. Knox last year and that so far is added into the decon line as a holding area to keep victims warm and secluded from the rest of people.

    I would appreciate any comments that anyone has.

    Thanks,

    Cory Adkins

    "These are my views not anyone elses"

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    The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services Hazmat Training division recently came up with a program called RAM decon (Rapid Access Mass Decon). We recently trained in this procedure. Two pumpers and an aerial are used in the drill.

    The two pumpers are placed parallel to each other with the pump panels facing outwards. Fog nozzles are connected to the side discharges and a handline is taken off of each rig. One line is taken around the rear of one pumper, the other is taken around the front. The aerial is set up with a ladder pipe and fog nozzle. The aerial is extended to the tip is right over the space set up between the two pumpers. A guide rope is set up for the people who are to be decontaminated to follow. When the water is flowing, it creates a 360 degree shower area so people can be rapidly decontaminated. There is so much water being flowed in the shower that contamination from runoff is minimal. The day we did the drill, I volunteered to walk throught the shower area. I changed out of my uniform and into a t-shirt and gym shorts. Damn that water was cold... but it was hot day and it felt great!

    [ 08-09-2001: Message edited by: Captain Gonzo ]
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    I think we should give some thought to the long term contamination effects of some of the agents that we might be washing into the storm drains and into our drinking water supply. Dilution may not be the solution.

    It only takes one molecule with some of this stuff, and some of the virus and bacteria multiply in amazing ways and would benefit from all the washwater. We might need to plan on using some of the new warfare agent neutralizing chemicals like the Navy QAC applied with a new CAFS system. There is no run off with the foamed decon and you can see what, who, and where the stuff is.
    Mark Cummins

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    The way we looked into that was that contamination is a second priority your first companies on scene generally aren't going to have that kind of equipment on hand to be able to succesfully control the contamination. At least in my neck of the woods our feeling is let it run in send the Sewer District ahead of the flow and plug the sewers. Or if possible wait for our response truck to bring more equipment but in our area that can be a while.

    Thanks for the input.... Kinda made me laugh when I looked at the last date that this was posted... 9-11-01
    "A 4x4 **** son plywood comes in bigger sheets than that make that hole bigger boy" There are those out there that know what I mean!!!!!!

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    CFire;

    For the benefit of those on this board, please tell us exactly what substances will contaminate a water supply with only "one molecule" and which virus and bacteria multiply in amazing ways and would benefit from all the washwater". I am anxiously awaiting your answer. And pleae don't give me any of that "classified info" stuff, because it isn't.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    .It only takes one molecule with some of this stuff, and some of the virus and bacteria multiply in amazing ways and would benefit from all the washwater. We might need to plan on using some of the new warfare agent neutralizing chemicals like the Navy QAC applied with a new CAFS system. There is no run off with the foamed decon and you can see what, who, and where the stuff is.
    I'm waiting. Sooner or later you will have to admit that you made this up to try to promote your business
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    The one thing that makes me crazy in the NBC Terrorism area is misinformation and disinformation. Many of the people talking about WMD incidents have little to no idea what they are talking about. cfire is one of those people. If you read his post and then look at his profile, his post was a scare tactic that was a self serving plug for foam...the very product he claims to be a manufacturer of.

    I had no doubt that he would not respond to me. There is no agent in the world that could contaminate a water supply of any size with just one molecule. There is no agent in the world that can "multiply in amazing ways and would benefit from all the washwater."

    You guys were almost scammed by a person attempting to personally benefit from an exaggerated claim of WMD terrorism.

    [ 10-05-2001: Message edited by: George Wendt, CFI ]
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    We conducted a WMD awareness class for all our personnel about two years ago. As a result, we initiated a mass casualty decon procedure almost identical to the one Captain Gonzo described, which was "copied" from a demonstration we saw at the IAFC Hazmat Conference in Towson, Md., put on by Deputy Chief Gary Warren of the Baltimore County Fire Department. We added some equipment to our first due apparatus, such as disposable tyvek coveralls for post decon dressing of victims, as well as ziplock bags for their valuables. Clothing would go in large plastic bags, which are carried on the HMRV.

    Also, we agree with George Wendt's comments. Our County Health Department fully supports rapid decon with LARGE amounts of water, and considers environmental impact from runoff in these situations to be virtually non-existant. Knowledge of the characteristics of the substances involved is of utmost importance when dealing with them. After the events of the recent past, we don't need hype or fabricated information to confuse this issue.

    All we can do to succeed with a response to this threat is to LEARN about what we are up against, and PLAN to deal with the threat accordingly. Stay Safe!

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    Looks like you are making some good progress. If I may add my 2 cents. First, the decon operations sound good, but they will all take time to set up. Are you putting your people in harms way? If you first set up a ladderpipe or deck gun operation with a small tip to achieve maximum reach/distance and direct your victims via PA to go to the 'shower' to start the decon process, you may buy your crews time and distance from contaminated people, to safely set up your decon corridor. Do not become part of the problem. Remember that everything that you collect is possible evidence from a crime scene. When bagging clothes, if you have the capability to seperate into a clear zip lock bag, ID, wallet, purse, jewelry, valuables and place that baggie inside the clear clothing bag so it is visable, it might help with identification and retrieval of personal items should the threat be downgraded and not require the destruction of what was thought to be contaminated goods. (Customer service!) Modesty, good luck getting people to strip down in public. What can you do to protect the victims from the media and the environment? Preplan for your target hazards.

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    Ok! If you get a get one anthrax spore into your lung, how long do you suppose it will take before it becomes two? Or a pox viri? Smart ***, I wasn't sellin nuthin.
    Wouldn't sell it to you anyway.
    Mark Cummins

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    Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
    CFire;

    For the benefit of those on this board, please tell us exactly what substances will contaminate a water supply with only "one molecule" and which virus and bacteria multiply in amazing ways and would benefit from all the washwater". I am anxiously awaiting your answer. And pleae don't give me any of that "classified info" stuff, because it isn't.

    It only takes one carcinogen molecule to effect a sensitive cell and you got problems.
    So it might be best to try to keep as much contamination to a minimum. Or you might find a product that can neutralize some of it. But guys like you wouldn't believe it.
    naysayer!
    Mark Cummins

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    So let me get this straight. If you drop one "Carcinogen" molecule into a multi-million gallon water supply, you have what is tantamount to bio-terrorism? Are you for real?

    "Carcinogen" is a broad class term for a multitude of materials that can cause or suspect to cause cancer in some living cells. It is not a bioterrorism agent. Following your logic, if an individual with skin cancer washed their hands and the cancer cells went into the waste water stream, there should be a widespead outbreak of cancer in the area served by that water system. Let's see, how often has that happened? Never!

    You really should bone up on your weapons of mass destruction training before you spout off here.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
    So let me get this straight. If you drop one "Carcinogen" molecule into a multi-million gallon water supply, you have what is tantamount to bio-terrorism? Are you for real?

    HaHa! I think it would be funny to hear how a guy like you tries to figure out how you got cancer or where you got infected from a terrorist or any other source of bio agent.
    Have a nice day TOAST!!
    Mark Cummins

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    Grow up you two!

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    Originally posted by capt 49-4:
    Grow up you two!
    Sorry, You're right, the guy got my goat.
    Mark Cummins

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    I appologize to the group,for lowering myself to Georges level. I am not selling anything.

    I want to make a final comment about the run-off problem with bio-agents. Dilution may not be the solution.
    Microbe multipy rapidly, and can live for very long periods of time to haunt us later.
    Consider how red tide starts, very small to very large.
    We shouldn't just wash bio agents off and expect it to disappear in the large volumes of water. The water does not kill the microbes, it spreads them. The microbes need food and water. This can include infecting the mosquitos that use the run-off. We must consider decontaminating more than just the people. I do not try to mis-inform,confuse or scare people, We are simply not prepared.
    Mark Cummins

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    You can keep telling me to grow up, but I will not sit here and let this guy spout off things that simply are not true.

    By way of background, I am presently assigned to a law enforcement task force responding to possible WMD calls on a daily basis. The task force includes members from every conceivable discipline from fire to medical to public health to even animal control. Obviously, these have all (over 80 since Fri) have been negative. However, the training is still there for an actual incident. I know what I am talking about.

    There is not one shred of documentation that has been brought to the table by any of our members (most of them extremely well educated and qualified) that remotely suggests that agents commonly found in bio terrorism incidents can affect a large water supply in microscopic qunatities. If it is out there, I ask him to quote sources and educate us all, including me.

    The Red Tide is not a bio-terrorism agent. It is an aquatic plant that is naturally occurring. There is no evidence that a microscopic amount of cancer cells can cause a cancer cluster if it is in a water supply. Mosquitoes cannot carry a bio-terrorism agent, they would be dead instantly if it came into contact with a small amount.

    My "level" as always, is facts. If there is documentable evidence to suggest otherwise, someone please enlighten me.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
    I know what I am talking about.

    There is not one shred of documentation that has been brought to the table by any of our members (most of them extremely well educated and qualified) that remotely suggests that agents commonly found in bio terrorism incidents can affect a large water supply in microscopic qunatities. If it is out there, I ask him to quote sources and educate us all, including me.

    Mosquitoes cannot carry a bio-terrorism agent, they would be dead instantly if it came into contact with a small amount.

    My "level" as always, is facts. If there is documentable evidence to suggest otherwise, someone please enlighten me.[/QB]

    George, have you ever heard the controversy about how the West Nile Virus, that is carried by mosquitos, got started? or that many other biological and virul agents could be used to effect our health and our agriculture industries? Do you have any idea how many organisms it would take to start foot and mouth or mad cow in water? Did you ever wonder why the shoes were decontaminated at the airports when GB had their outbreak? If you think all is well and that I shouldn't try to talk about this or try to do something about it then seeya, wouldn't wanabeya.
    Mark Cummins

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    Cfire...
    What are your credentials that make you an expert on bio-terrorism and hazmat decon procedures?

    By the way...your playground attitude is getting really boring!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Originally posted by Captain Gonzo:
    Cfire...
    What are your credentials that make you an expert on bio-terrorism and hazmat decon procedures?

    By the way...your playground attitude is getting really boring!
    I don't claim to be an expert on bio-terrorism, all I'm trying to do is raise awarness that it might be dangerouse to use large volumes of unrecoverable water to wash away bacteria, virus, fungi and other micro-organisms. I know emergency responders first priority is to get the situation under control, but I've seen very little attention toward the final cleanup.
    I have been working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center to complete a CRADA agreement to develop a warfare agent and pesticide decontamination application system. All the test are finished and the patens are issued to the Navy. Hopfully the QAC will be available in the near future.

    As for the "playground" bs, that is for George who sends iritating messages to my email and that seems to be the level he understands best..sorry if it offended you.

    Be Safe
    Mark Cummins

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    Oringally posted by cfire.
    I have been working with the Naval Surface Warfare Center to complete a CRADA agreement to develop a warfare agent and pesticide decontamination application system. All the test are finished and the patens are issued to the Navy. Hopfully the QAC will be available in the near future.
    For your business no doubt. Or out of the goodness of your heart?

    All is not well. But one reason all is not well is fear mongering and profiteering. Brings to mind the hysteria that surrounded Y2K.

    You have adequately proven your limited knowledge and hidden agenda. Game, set, match. I'm done.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Originally posted by George Wendt, CFI:
    Oringally posted by cfire.


    For your business no doubt. Or out of the goodness of your heart?

    All is not well. But one reason all is not well is fear mongering and profiteering. Brings to mind the hysteria that surrounded Y2K.

    You have adequately proven your limited knowledge and hidden agenda. Game, set, match. I'm done.
    George, I don't think it is fear mongering to share knowledge about a clear and present danger. Another example: Does your department have a plan for controling the flies that may be attracted to any dead herbivor animals? The spores can be transfered this way. Should we just ignore it because it's scarey to think about? Who will manage this and how do we respond. I sure won't be sticking MY head in the sand either, the spores can exist there for more than 43 years, the spores are not easily killed with current disinfectants or decontamination agents. I received the Navy CRADA 3 years ago I've worked hard and spent a great deal of time and money to develope the project but responding to this messageboard is not a sales pitch.

    Be safe, save a life.
    Mark Cummins
    Mark Cummins

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    We basically have the same type of operation being that we use the deckguns with fog nozzles and then a nozzle on each panel also. After coming through that, they then get a more detailed decon. Cfire you do have a valid point, however, there are hardly any of us running around with any solutions that you mentioned. The first and formost goal is to decon contaiminated victims first, and the other stuff comes later. If you have a train load of people who were contaminated, that is gonna be a lot of water to try to contain.
    As far as your question on how long would one Spore of Anthrax became 2. That is irrelevant. How long would it take after the 48 hours it takes for the lab to confirm the field test, for the antibiotics your already taking to work on those spores? Even more, Smallpox is an even farther of reach in my opinion. While there is no doubt in my mind some of us are going to have to deal with that threat in the future, (better to think so, then shrug it off), following mass decon those victims are going to be quarintined due to the explosive contagiousness off the virus. Whearas Anthrax is not contagious person to person, and also is eliminated with a simple bleach solution. Life Safety first. Plus lets face it the stuff that can kill you with one molecule (nerve agents) is going to kill a lot of us first due responders also by the time someone figures out what is going on. Anyone who has seen or read about the mass decon trailers that the large cities has knows that this is an effective means instead of waiting around for chemicals that still have to be cleaned up anyway.
    --------------------------------------------
    The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.

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    Originally posted by ALSfirefighter:
    We basically have the same type of operation being that we use the deckguns with fog nozzles and then a nozzle on each panel also. After coming through that, they then get a more detailed decon. Cfire you do have a valid point, however, there are hardly any of us running around with any solutions that you mentioned.
    Very well put. Thanks for the comments.

    One more quick comment, from me, about a disturbing bit of information from the Military testing labs, The anthrax spores are very hard to kill, if you use a strong bleach solutions it could take more than 30 minutes of contact to kill them.
    Mark Cummins

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    I am sorry to see the kind of comments that are appearing in this section. If someone places some inaccurate information here, it should be rebutted with the appropriate information. Resorting to name calling serves no useful purpose. In light of the happenings of September 11 and since, we should all be working together to deal with the problem. Lets act like the professionals we are.

    EPA recently issued guidance for runoff of materials from a chemical or biological decontamination. It basically says, life safety is more important than environmental contamination. If it is possible to contain runoff, then it should be done, but not at the expense of those contaminated. Getting chemical agents in particular, off of a person is a high priority. It is unlikely an emergency decontamination will occur as the result of a biological incident. As we have seen already, the discovery of a biological scene usually occurs after the fact. Those doing clean-up and testing have the time to establish technical decon and contain runoff.

    The amount of a biological material present as a contaminant on a person is likely to be small. Other than anthrax, most biological materials would not survive long in the environment, and dilution by the large amount of decontamination water would likely take care of any biohazard.

    If it is anthrax spores, wetting them down is the best thing that could happen, they cannot be airborne and inhaled if wet. They exist naturally in the soil, and given the small amounts likely to be present, they do not present a significant runoff hazard.

    The decon foam developed by Sandia Labs sounds like an answer to the decontamination problem. It does not harm people or the environment. The same cannot be said for chlorine or other chemicals use for decon.

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