A motto Massachusetts General Hospital has often lived by is “Always ready to respond.” From each unit on every floor across all buildings on the hospital’s main campus and beyond, staff are prepared for anything that comes their way.
One volunteer-based team that lives by these words is the MGH HAZMAT Response Team, made up of more than 70 volunteers throughout the hospital who work across all shifts and schedules. Members participate in at least four trainings a year and are educated about the necessary personal protective equipment.
“We use this team if we have the need to perform large-scale screenings and the decontamination of patients and visitors in the event of a mass casualty event that may involve chemical, biological or radiation contamination,” says Jen Andonian, project manager in Mass General's Center for Disaster Medicine. “Members do not need to be a clinician or have any prior experience. We train with medical and technical HAZMAT specialists, including the Special Operations Unit at the Boston Fire department and the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama. This is a great opportunity to meet and work with many staff members you would not normally have a chance to share incredible experiences with, in an exciting and unique way.”
Staff interested in learning more about the MGH HAZMAT Response Team can email Jacky Nally, RN, senior program manager in the Center for Disaster Medicine, or Stefanie Lane, biothreats project manager.