POINT PLEASANT — Pleasant Valley Hospital’s new hazmat and decontamination room is the latest addition to its trauma center.
The room, which is adjacent to its emergency room, allows for patients who have been exposed to hazardous chemicals to be decontaminated before entering the hospital. This benefits the patients as well as the staff at PVH in an age of hazardous chemicals being transported through our area, both legally and illegally.
PVH has been working with the Mason County Local Emergency Planning Committee to help develop this latest tool in emergency medicine and public safety. The late Saybra Pearson, who was both an employee of PVH and a member of the Mason County LEPC, helped turn the idea of the room into a reality. Unfortunately, Pearson passed away before the room was completed but on Friday, personnel from PVH and the LEPC dedicated the room in her memory with a special plaque which will hang near the entrance - the LEPC voted to purchase the plaque a few months ago. Pearson’s family was on hand for the dedication as were many of her friends and coworkers.
John Bumgarner of the LEPC spoke about Pearson’s “passion” for her work and called her a “go getter.” He added she was a person the LEPC could turn to to help “fill in the gaps” when people were needed. Bumgarner also spoke about the fact Pearson was one of the first to recognize, early on, that a decontamination room in the area was needed.
“Unfortunately, she’s not physically able to be with us, but her spirit and character lives on,” Bumgarner said.
The City of Point Pleasant was also represented by Mayor Brian Billings and City Clerk Amber Tatterson with Billings remarking on the growth of PVH and its contributions to the community. Billings as well as Mason County Commissioner Bob Baird also spoke fondly of Pearson and her family.
Speaking at the dedication, PVH CEO Tom Schauer spoke about Pearson’s hard work on the room as well as the internal staff who helped build it. Schauer noted PVH is the only emergency and trauma center within a 40 mile radius of Point Pleasant and said the state-0f-the-art decontamination room is a welcome tool he hopes never has to be used.
The new decontamination room will not only provide care but discrete care for patients and in the process prevent the hospital from becoming contaminated which could possibly close down the emergency and trauma center.