MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The Mission Assurance Branch with air station operations held the annual Exercise Sudden Crisis 2013 exercise aboard Cherry Point Aug. 6.
Sudden Crisis is conducted annually to evaluate the ability of Cherry Point first responders and other personnel to dispatch appropriate emergency response assets. The exercise was also used to establish a Unified Command Post and stand up the Emergency Operations Center to conduct and support the response to multiple incidents occurring simultaneously at different locations aboard the installation.
This training plays a vital role in maintaining and improving air station’s ability to respond and successfully handle critical incidents. More than 100 participants took part of this exercise.
“Sudden Crisis better prepares the first responders because it allows them to get a good training opportunity,” said Steven Dancer, the senior controller and lead planner with command and control. “It creates an atmosphere that makes different agencies that usually don’t work together work together during a simulated incident much like a sudden crisis.”
Interoperability among agencies is key to installation preparedness, said John A Cass, an instructor for Regional Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear High Yield Explosive Equipment Training Team.
“Department of Defense installations need to be able to respond and react well,” said Cass, “Exercising all the things they have been trained to do and how to respond presents a time to find all the ‘holes in the wire.’”
Two scenarios provided realistic training to the Provost Marshal’s Office, Cherry Point Fire and Emergency Services, Marine Transport Squadron 1 and special staff members.
During the first scenario, a two-vehicle accident resulted in several injuries and a fuel spill, said Cass.
Cherry Point Fire and Emergency Services, VMR-1, and paramedics successfully responded, triaged patients according to the severity of their injuries and provided appropriate treatment. Simultaneously, personnel assessed the extent of the spill and swiftly executed clean-up procedures to minimize environmental impact.
“After assessing the patients we then transported one of the casualties over to Pedro (VMR-1’s HH-46 search and rescue helicopter) so he could be transported to a neighboring hospital to receive emergency care,” said Jeremy P. Misenhelder, a paramedic with Fire Station 3.
In the second scenario, the driver of a second fuel truck diverted his vehicle to the flight line and began to barricade himself inside the vehicle. The air station stood up the EOC and military law enforcement cordoned off the area and worked to diffuse the situation.
Ultimately, the exercise participants performed exactly as they would be expected to in real-world crises, said Dancer.
“The first responders did an excellent job responding to the different situations that they were given.”