The State Correctional Institution in Albion on lockdown today and emergency crews on scene.
The incident unfolding after an officer fell ill while processing a parole violator, citing symptoms of dizziness, confusion, and an increased heart rate. Three medical staff members responded to provide care to that officer. Shortly after, they began experiencing similar symptoms.
A second officer, who was also in contact with that parole violator, fell ill as well.
Pennsylvania State Police and Erie County Emergency Mangement responded to the scene of the incident. Michele Tharp, Superintendent Assistant, says, “There’s been several statewide; basically the same thing, their staff are being exposed to different things. They’re still not sure what exactly these are. So right now it’s just been a crazy, kind of, epidemic that’s going on.”
In total, five prison staff members and one EMS staff member rushed to UPMC Hamot to go through decontamination. The 15-minute process includes a shower before they enter the emergency department.
Dr. Jason Chenault, Senior Director of Emergency Services, says, “Since this was an unknown substance, we wanted to be precautionary and make everybody that was involved go through decontamination to make sure that they were safe.”
At Hamot, hazmat crews digging through bags filled with the clothes of those who came in contact with this unknown substance. Following treatment, they were reported to appear in stable condition.
Chenault tells us, “We want to make sure that we are very well prepared as the regions only trauma center. We want to make sure that we can take those patients at a moments notice.”
Eight UPMC staff members, rooms, and vehicles went through decontamination for safety measures.
Hazmat response crews left the scene around 2:30 this afternoon. No word yet on what the unknown substance might be.