Activating the decontamination team
When activating the decon team, an assessment should first be made to determine the level of response that is required. For example, a single contaminated victim may not require an entire decon line to be set-up. Simply stripping the victim’s clothing and directing him or her to an outside shower may be sufficient.
Many facilities pre-designate where their decon tents will be erected. This may require security personnel to keep the area clear of traffic and other vehicles. Setting up the tent can be performed in Level-D clothing as long as contaminated victims are not yet present.
Large numbers of contaminated victims should be directed to a safe staging area downwind of any entrances until the decon line can be set up. This ensures that any vapors will be carried away from the facility and not into it.
A sentry should evaluate every victim as they approach the facility, even those arriving by EMS. Non-contaminated victims may proceed directly to the ED, while contaminated ones diverted to decon first. Refer to the Routing Chart (left) for further details.