SORT Continuing Education and Training Opportunities

"To provide the highest level of disaster medical support through education, research and response"

Hospital Hazmat Evaluation and Training Services

We Offer Hospital Staff Hazmat Training - On-Site Assessment of your Facility's Hazmat Decontamination Protocols and Equipment - and Hospital Staff Development Programs.

The recent threat of terrorist activities has prompted a nation-wide effort to prepare local communities to train, prepare, and respond to threats and incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. (WMD) As prehospital care, fire and law enforcement agencies are preparing for hazmat and WMD events, hospitals must be equally prepared.

Recent data indicates that only 18% of contaminated victims remain on the scene awaiting prehospital care. The majority will self transport and walk in the front door of a hospital emergency department seeking decontamination treatment. Is your facility prepared for this? Is your staff prepared for this? A contaminated patient or patients walking into an emergency department without prior notification can result in having to lock down your facility. Being caught unprepared could potentially jeopardize the health and safety of the patient, the hospital staff, and the facility itself.

The Special Operations Response Team (SORT) has been involved in hospital hazmat educational programs and consultation since 1978. SORT's experienced staff can visit your facility and conduct an "on-site" evaluation of your written procedural plans, decontamination equipment, and staff training program. After analyzing your protocols, SORT can provide both written recommendations and any necessary training to hospital personnel to assist you in assuring that your hospital is prepared to adequately handle the challenge of dealing with a hazmat or bioterrorism event.

  Areas reviewed in the analysis and recommendations process include:


  •  Hospital Decontamination Procedures                 

  •  Medical Treatment Procedures for Hazmat Decon                        

  •  Evacuation Procedures                                                            

  •  Site Security and Control Procedures                                         

  •  Training and Communications                                                     

  •  Coordination with Outside Parties                                              

  •  PPE and Decontamination Equipment                                                  

  •  Emergency Alerting and Response Procedures

  •  Safe Distances and Places of Refuge 

  •  Spill Containment and Cleanup Procedures

  •  Personnel Role Descriptions

  •  Pre-emergency Planning

  •  Designated Decontamination Area

  •  Critiques of Response and Follow-up.

  • SORT is available 24 hours a day to assist facilities and organizations with hazmat consultation, training and assisted response for decontamination, containment and spill cleanup. (Certain distance limitations might apply for response) This assistance is available to any organization that contracts with us for services.

    Other Hospital Services Offered by SORT

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    What is HEICS?

    * The Hospital Emergency Incident Command System is an emergency management system which employs a  logical management structure, defined responsibilities, clear reporting channels and a common nomenclature to help unify hospitals with other emergency responders. It can be integrated into your current Hospital Disaster Plan

    * In 1992, a generic disaster response plan was released to hospitals based upon the Incident Command System. The Hospital Emergency Incident Command System, modeled after the FIRESCOPE management system, was first tested by six hospitals in Orange County, California.

    * Following the 1993 Northridge Earthquake, HEICS was used successfully by some hospitals damaged in the quake. The plan has also been used in single hospital emergencies and in many disaster exercises.

    ( * excerpt from HEICS Student Manual 1998 3rd edition)

    Why should a hospital adopt the HEICS?

    1) Hospital management must be made aware that a timely and organized hospital response to an emergency equates to faster service to the community and a faster return to pre-disaster conditions.

    2) The hospital is an investment; financially and for the community. It must be protected by a proven emergency preparedness plan which is practiced regularly.

    4)The largest financial commitment relative to the implementation of the HEICS plan is staff education, which is already required by those agencies which accredit the hospital.

    Hospital staff desire competency and confidence in a plan. Competency will come in the knowledge that the plan the hospital has adopted is a useful tool in the response to an external or internal emergency. Confidence will occur when the plan is practiced frequently.

    Is the HEICS designed only for large facilities?

    No, it was originally designed for small community hospitals and has been re-developed to accommodate larger facilities as well. HEICS can even be utilized in medical clinics, nursing facilities and assisted living centers.

    Where can I find the HEICS course?

    SORT can bring this 8.0 hour course to your facility. Contact us for further details.

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    • SORT conducts annual or bi-annual regulatory compliance audits/inspections for our clients and provides any necessary training to reduce employee injury and illness. This service can increase productivity by providing a safe working environment as well as minimizing liability costs.


    • Some of our clients include: Hospitals, medical clinics, outpatient surgical clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing care centers and industrial laundry services.

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    SORT offers a customized 3-hour Hazardous Materials Awareness Course designed to educate all hospital department staff members in the following topics:

    • Hazardous Materials properties and effects

    • Proper chemical labeling and interpretation

    • Proper handling and storage

    • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

    • Activation of the hospital's in-house spill and containment procedures

    • Activation of the hospital's decon team

    • Familiarization and understanding of the hospital's Hazcom manual

    • Interpretation and use of MSDS forms

    • Utilization of outside resources


    SORT's Decontamination Operations, Occupational Services, Medical Operations and Educational Programs are conducted and/or supervised by Roy L. Alson, MD, SORT Medical Director.

              SORT Disaster Training Center. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

    121 Polo Road, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27105

     Contact us for more information about our Hospital Hazmat and Bioterrorism Preparedness Programs and SORT's other hospital staff education services.


    (336) 759-3924 ext. 105 or 123

     Special Operations Response Team, SORT, and the SORT logo are Registered Trademarks All Rights Reserved. All Website Contents are Copyright © 1998-2007

    SORT is the sponsor agency to the NC1-DMAT & NMRT-E; Medical Response Teams of the

    National Disaster Medical System /  US Dept. of Health and Human Services