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Hospital pros match decontamination skills in Braselton
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Tom Farrington runs to set up part of the hospital deluge system during the inaugural Hospital D-Con Games at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton on Saturday. Five teams competed in the games with four members on each team. - photo by Erin O. Smith

You’ve probably heard of DragonCon. Well, how about D-Con?

The inaugural Hospital D-Con Games pitted the decontaminating skills of professionals from three different medical facilities.

In a parking lot at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Braselton Saturday afternoon, participants hauled “deluge kits” across the parking lot while onlookers cheered on their favorite teams.

Each kit contained firehoses, wrenches and the components most often used to “spray down people or an area, should there ever be a catastrophe involving chemicals” said Kyle Jarrard of Commerce.

Jarrard, a member of the Braselton team, said the key to doing well in the competition was “making sure everyone is in sync ... and making sure nobody gets hurt.”

Teams like Jarrard’s were timed for the correct setup of the hospital deluge system used for patient decontamination, according to event organizer Jennifer Davis.

Participating hospitals included Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton and Spalding Regional Hospital.

Davis said the event was also a fundraiser for youth organization Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County.

All team members in the competition were required to be employed by a Georgia hospital and trained in their hospital’s decontamination process.

Callie Parker of Cumming and Sandra Wimbish of Braselton watched competitors during each heat.

“It’s been interesting,” Parker said, adding that in the past she used the decontamination gear in real life “when there was an ammonia spill at a chicken plant in Gainesville.”

Added Parker: “It always involves copious amounts of water.”

Onlooker James Greene dodged the water spritzing from the firehose, laughing.

“Keeping me on my toes,” he said. “I sure have never seen anything like this, but it’s entertaining.”

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