People buying Hazmat suits due to Ebola scare could be doing more harm than good

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 17,2014)--The Ebola outbreak has sparked demand for protective gear.  However, it’s not just health care workers rushing to fill orders, it’s also everyday people who are worried about getting Ebola.

Doug Stemmler is a  partner of the Essco Corporation, a local provider of personal protection equipment or PPE’s.

Since Ebola has hit the U.S., the  demand for these suits have spread.  Stemmler has filled an order for a Hazmat contractor in Southern Indiana.  That company has been tasked with decontaminating parts of Ohio that officials fear may have been contaminated with a person ill with Ebola.

"You can't just go out and buy anything off the shelf and expect it to work for everything so you really need to be aware of what you are dealing with," said Stemmler.

As Ebola spreads, people have started taking matters into their own hands, and buying their own PPE's.  However, Stemmler says without the proper training, wearing a Hazmat suit could actually do more harm than good.

"The equipment has to be correct, the way it's put on has to be correct, the way it's  taken off has to be correct. There are certain procedures you have to follow," said Stemmler.

In Carmel, they aren't taking any chances.  The city has and have already developed an Ebola response plan. Mayor Jim Brainard released this statement

“While the chances of an Ebola outbreak in Carmel may be slim, being prepared best serves our community. This is not the kind of situation where we can wait to train after the fact. An immediate and well thought out plan is the prudent course of action,”

"At this point, I think it's not necessary for  individuals to have protective equipment in their home or work place," said Stemmler.

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