Decontamination drill at Palomar Medical Center - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Decontamination drill at Palomar Medical Center

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) - If you saw people in hazmat suits in Escondido Friday, there's no need to be alarmed. It was just a drill.

About 40 staff members from Palomar and other nearby medical centers are taking part, and while the drill is not specific to Ebola, it does help them prepare for all types of cases.

"The objective here is to make sure that the hospitals are able to maintain security and maintain effectiveness of their ERs," course instructor Nick Vent said.

Vent says this type of training is consistent with how hospitals should respond in cases involving things like drug labs and fire explosions.

Participants suited up in full hazardous material gear, while others played victims. The victims were rinsed off, tended to and hazardous materials properly disposed of -- much different than how the hospital would respond to Ebola. Palomar's director of emergency services Michelle Gunnett says while the protocols between hazmat and Ebola are much different, the goal is the same -- to work together efficiently and safely.

"Emergency departments are prepared. We need to be prepared for whatever would come through our doors," she said.

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