Beale Airmen conduct integrated emergency response training
By Airman Preston L. Cherry, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 15, 2015
BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California --
Fire and emergency services, emergency management and bioenvironmental engineering Airmen participated in an integrated emergency response capability training exercise here June 8 to 12, 2015.
Airmen responded to a variety of hazardous material, major accident and natural disaster scenarios. Participants took the opportunity to improve emergency response skills without the stress of an actual crisis.
"During the week, the team comes in, and they do a building block approach for an all-hazards response," said Bob Coffelt, emergency operations center manager. "They first perform academic training and then move to the field and given increasingly more challenging scenarios involving a hazardous substance."
The trainees began by setting up a base camp outside of the hazardous area with mobile response units. Just like in an actual emergency, the incident commander assesses the situation and coordinates an appropriate response through the EOC and supporting agencies. The nature of the exercise provides realistic feedback.
"There is no one shoe that fits all when it comes to emergency response procedures, but what they teach and point out for us when it comes to the different exercises provides good information," said Senior Airman Kent Hunter, 9th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician. "It definitely shows us where we are a little bit weaker, so we can actually focus on improving in those areas."
A team contracted by Air Combat Command oversaw the planning and execution of the training.
"In the beginning of the week, they are kind of intimidated, nervous, and scared," said Joe Potaczek, a contractor. "By the end of the week...you really can see their confidence increase."