Chemical at Green Bay hospital brings Hazmat response

The source was traced to a drain for a piece of equipment
A spill or leak affected two workers in a lab at the hospital in Green Bay
Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 11:25 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2023 at 4:35 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A chemical in a lab prompted a Hazmat response to Bellin Hospital in Green Bay.

Employees in a basement lab reported something irritated their eyes and caused respiratory issues, specifically coughing.

The Green Bay Metro Fire Department said the area was quickly sealed off thanks to several safety measures the hospital has in place, including safety mechanisms in the ventilation system.

The fire department says only people in that one room were affected, and nobody else on that floor or in the hospital was evacuated; people at the hospital, including patients, were safe, Lt. Shauna Walesh, GBMFD, said.

“Neither of those people were treated or taken to the emergency room. Symptoms resolved when they got out of that area,” the lieutenant said.

The fire department says the chemical was eventually traced to a drain for a piece of equipment. Walesh said the hospital has extensive logs of what chemicals are used in the building, which helped first responders determine what they were working against.

“Usually facilities that have chemicals on hand have a well-listed draft of what they have in their building and how many people are in the building, so that’s why people have these safety mechanisms in place so that way they can kind of prepare in case something does happen, and like today, Bellin’s is working appropriately,” Walesh said.

Webster Ave. was closed between E. Mason St. and Porlier St. until about 2 p.m. because of the emergency vehicles. People could still access Bellin Hospital using the S. Van Buren St. entrance.

Other than the affected room, the hospital was operating normally, Walesh said.

Green Bay Metro Fire Department was assisted by the Brown County Emergency Dispatch Center, Green Bay Police Department, Green Bay Department of Public Works, Howard Fire Rescue, and Bellin Hospital staff.

A chemical spill in a lab caused eye and respiratory irritation
The chemical was traced to the drain of a piece of equipment in the basement lab