Decontamination Station




The place where the decontamination is conducted is called decontamination station. One has to establish a decontamination station on every single incident with HNS involved.

Usually the decontamination station is located upwind on the border between the Warm Zone and the Cold Zone. If the decontamination is planned to conduct onboard a rescue vessel, the decontamination station could just be located in the Warm Zone. The decontamination station is the exit point for every person and equipment leaving the Warm Zone entering the Cold Zone.

The decontamination station itself is divided into a “clean” and an “unclean” side. On the unclean side the core decontamination process is executed, while service and treatment facilities (e.g. technical equipment, registration, food and beverages, restrooms) are established on the clean side. Both sides have to be separated and marked thoroughly to prevent accidentally access or exit without decontamination.

A fully established decontamination station requires a certain amount of space, in the Warm Zone as well as in the Cold Zone, for the decontamination process itself, service and treatment facilities and logistics. This includes the local availability of electric energy and fresh water as well as (liquid and solid) waste disposal. Furthermore it should have good access from Warm Zone and Cold Zone. Especially the disposal of contaminated waste (e.g. equipment, clothing and fluids) has to be planned and established.

See an aerial view of decontamination station and the different zones:

For safety reasons the decontamination station has to be ready before rescue teams commence any rescue operation. In case of life saving demands at least an emergency decontamination has to be established first.