COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Product Development Center (PDC) hosted an Infectious Disease Response Workshop on Nov. 8 at the Emergency Operations Training Center and Disaster City?. The event drew robotics experts, researchers, responders and industry partners to learn and discuss training and new technologies for emergency response to infectious disease and medical disasters.
The workshop covered various aspects of medical response, including how TEEX training for first responders incorporates proper procedures for response to a medical emergency. TEEX experts explained the various types of personal protective equipment and demonstrated proper procedures for donning and doffing hazmat suits, decontamination procedures, as well as the current practices for biohazard waste management and patient transport.
“We were pleased to host this event to bring key researchers, responders, industry and government personnel together to explore critical issues related to response to infectious disease incidents,” said PDC Manager Caleb Holt. “One of our strengths at the PDC is to give manufacturers, developers and innovators a place to test out their products in real-world scenarios.”
The workshop included demonstrations of the current practices in medical response by walking participants through various scenarios, including a field hospital, a demonstration of how biohazard waste is handled, and how first responders, equipment, and vehicles are decontaminated. The role of robotics was also examined, including a demonstration of a MUTT, or multipurpose unmanned tactical transport, that resembles an electric wagon. Jason Moats of TEEX participated in a panel discussion on best practices in education and training related to medical disaster preparedness.