For about 5 years now, Marquette General Health System has had a Code Orange Team.
Team member Eric Williams says its goal is to protect the staff and patients in the emergency room in the event of a chemical spill.
It can also get called out to local businesses to decontaminate them in the event of a spill.
That means they need to be in touch with businesses about the chemicals they use.
The team held an open house at the hospital to do that today.
It also let businesses and first responders know more about the tools at its disposal — things like its emergency shelter.
Team member Deanna Sved says the team’s training involves learning about how to handle specific chemicals, how to set up the shelter tent and learning what each individual member is responsible for during a response.
Fire departments are interested in the team, since hazardous material situation response is a big part of what they do.
Marquette Township Fire Marshal Ron DeMarse says that means they need to keep abreast of what MGH has going on, since anyone involved in a hazmat situation would have to go there.
It takes the team less than 10 minutes to set up the emergency shelter.
But they’ve never had an emergency on a large enough scale where they would need it.
The emergency shelter is to handle chemical situations involving 5 people or more.
For fewer people than that, the team suggests going to the MGH emergency department ambulance garage door on Magnetic Street.
Williams says there’s a red emergency button outside the door.
If you press it, ER staff will be able to bring you inside and give you a hand with cleaning up.
The 30 or so members of the team train together several times a year.
If there ever is a large chemical or trauma emergency, they’ll be ready.