Ebola Training Presented to CRH, Downeast EMS, Calais Fire-EMS

By Jayna Smith

Proper protocol when putting on and taking off personal protective equipment was the main focus of an Ebola training held last week at the Calais Fire Station.   The special safety training was presented to personnel from Calais Regional Hospital, Downeast EMS and Calais Fire-EMS by Scott Luciano, President of Specialty Response Solutions, Inc. in Hampden. 

Throughout October, Specialty Response Solutions has provided Ebola training to approximately 100 healthcare providers at hospitals and ambulance services throughout the state.   “We like to stress that this allows medical professionals to be prepared for multiple hazards and is not specific to Ebola,” Luciano said, adding, “We teach the same techniques and use the same equipment that one would use if he or she was dealing with a highly contagious patient or a patient who was exposed to a hazardous chemical.” 

Fire responders take action in uncontrolled environments, not knowing what they will see.  The more hands on practice received, the fewer mistakes will happen.   Calais Fire Chief Robert Posick said 44 people received the training throughout five two-hour sessions.  “Four (of the training sessions) were learning sessions, while one was a dry run at the hospital to see how the logistics there would work,” Chief Posick stated. 

Luciano explained that his company relies on guidance of the CDC to develop policies and procedures.  “What we do provide is a way to apply those recommendations, in a real world application, based on our decades of experience in responding with protective clothing and equipment.”  He also praised the teamwork demonstrated among hospital staff, Calais Fire-EMS, and Downeast EMS.  “They should be commended for building relationships and training together before a catastrophic event occurs.”