Healthcare Workers Suit Up For A Disaster

(KHNL) - Health care workers suit up in protective gear.

The scenario- a nuclear device went off at Honolulu Harbor and now they need to go to work.

"We want them to come away with how it would work and second not to fear ," said Toby Clairmont with Healthcare Association of Hawaii.

Clairmont has planned this day for almost a year.

Hospital workers across the state train to deal with an actual disaster.

Larry Alfrey is a trauma physician assistant at Queen's Medical Center.

He was in New York during the September 11 attacks.

"I was put down at Chelsea Pier and I had to go through all the bodies as they came out to see if they were dead or alive," said Alfrey.

This time this is only a drill.

But there are challenges.

"it was a little chaotic. A lot of people trying to figure out their roles," said Alfrey.

Part of being prepared is having the right equipment, including this new decontamination center. Now twenty-six hospitals across the state have one like it.

Workers also learn to use the new respiratory gear properly and equipment like this radiation sensor.

"We need to have the instruments out there. If something did happen, it's too late, we can't buy this stuff we can't train fast enough," said Clairmont.

This may not be the real thing, but practice never hurts.

According to Alfrey, "Terrorism is a real thing. we're a target in the middle of nowhere with nobody to help us. It's a good experience to go through."