Thursday, December 04, 2008

Air Force Dentistry...What is it all about?

Many have asked about some of the Air Force stuff I do. Today is a great example of some of the extra duties I have. I had the afternoon block off from patient care to attend my CBRNE class [pronounced See-Bernie, kinda like Weekend at CBRNE (yes that was a poor acronym joke, the AF is all about acronyms and usually spoken as a word not as individual letters.)] CBRNE is the acronym for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosives. First I had to spend about 2-3 hours doing a CBT (Computer Based Training) about CBRNE when we worked half day on Veterans Day, then we did hands on training today.

This consisted of learning how to put on our MOPP* gear. Donning this gear we went out and learned how to place and read chemical/biological agent detecting papers and identify UXOs (unexploded ordinance i.e. bombs, mortars, grenades). We did this with all of the MOPP gear on (which is MOPP level 4), it was the first time I've had to wear the gas mask. They even sprayed something in my face to see if my seal was good, luckily it was.

The best part was that it we got done pretty quick and I got home just before 1500. It is amazing sometimes how much resource is invested/wasted/utilized in lots of these trainings and exercises we do. There were a lot of other docs in there. (Mom don't read the next sentence). But we do live in a medium risk area, i.e. within 300km of a hostile country with capability and motive to employ CBRNE. Don't worry its overkill, but it is nice to be prepared.

So there you have it a day in the life of an Air Force Pediatric Dentist!

-I'll try to get a picture of me MOPP'd up sometime.

*MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) (acronym pronounced as "mop") is a militaryCBRN) strike: term used to describe protective gear, to be used in a toxic environment, i.e., during a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.

  • Protective mask — Commonly referred to as a gas mask. It is designed to filter harmful chemical and biological agents, as well as irradiated particles from the air to allow the wearer to breathe safely. No protective masks filter out gasses such as carbon monoxide, and in situations requiring that level of protection, external breathing apparatus is employed.
  • Mask carrier — Protects the mask from damage. It is usually worn as part of battle gear for easy access and usually contains a technical manual, spare parts, and nerve agentantidotes.
  • Overgarments — Specially designed clothing to be worn over the normal uniform. These garments are designed to allow maximum airflow for cooling while keeping chemical and biological agents from reaching the skin of the wearer. Some are equipped with a charcoalM9 Detector Paper.
  • Gloves and overboots — Highly durable rubber, designed with combat operations in mind. Used to prevent contact with agents.


Sheba said...

Wow. Now I'm gonna have bad dreams and have to go wake up Anna instead of the other way around. No CBERNies please.

Foot Handle Pete said...

So can you do a pulpotomy in your MOPP gear? That formacreasol (don't use it, can't spell it) is a chemical weapon. It probably is nice to have something different to do EOIAW. (every once in a while.) FHP (pronounced: phup)