Tifton Gazette

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May 28, 2014

Employees decontaminated at Tift Regional after Turner Co. chlorine spill

TIFTON — A chlorine spill in Rebecca Wednesday afternoon led to several people having to come to Tift Regional Medical Center to be decontaminated.

Joy Davis, TRMC's community relations coordinator, said approximately 15 to 20 employees at Dan King Farms in Rebecca were exposed to chlorine gas. She noted this was an enclosed exposure, and the Rebecca community is not at risk.

She said some of the employees were taken to TRMC after the hospital received word about the exposure. The employees were experiencing respiratory symptoms and were taken to the hospital by Emergency Medical Services from Tift, Turner and Ben Hill counties. Davis commented that they will be OK.

All of the patients were decontaminated and treated for respiratory symptoms. Davis said Tift Regional's emergency response department, who hosed the patients off outside the hospital, ran everything, but it was also a collaborative community effort from many people who helped the team. A command center was set up inside the hospital and the patients were given water. Also, the Tifton Police Department, as well as a Georgia State Patrol trooper, helped by blocking the street off for the ambulances to drop patients off.

Davis commended everyone's efforts, noting they had actually drilled for this type of incident last year.

"So, we're prepared," she told The Tifton Gazette outside the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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