Hospital conducts HAZMAT exercise

Firefighters with Fort Belvoir Fire & Emergency Services conduct a hazardous material training exercise at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, June 27. Participating agencies responded to a simulated chlorine leak at the pool in River Pavilion.

Training boosts inter-department readiness

Fort Belvoir Community Hospital conducted a joint exercise, involving hazardous materials, with Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services, June 27. The hospital’s Emergency Management Department and garrison partners across the installation designed the exercise to improve inter-department operations and communications involving first responders and hospital personnel.

According the Fort Belvoir Assistant Fire Chief Scott Ross, the scenario involved toxic chemicals in the River Pavilion. “The exercise call came in reporting a chlorine leak at the hospital pool,” Ross said. “Our HAZMAT teams responded to first assess the scope of the leak and, after reporting no casualties, return to the scene wearing HAZMAT suits to protect them while they work to shut off the leak.”

This exercise of real-time emergency response helps all involved agencies, according to Mark Diaz, Belvoir Hospital chief of Emergency, Management and Operations.

“These exercises ensure a smooth operation in the case of a real-world, hazardous material spill,” Diaz said.