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January 18, 2013

Exercises demonstrate base’s emergency response capabilities to AFMC inspectors

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Kenji Thuloweit
Editor

A vehicle accident scene was set up for a hazardous materials exercise Jan. 15, 2013. The HAZMAT exercise simulated the spill of 300 gallons of the toxic chemical mixture Trichlorobenzenes following the traffic accident. First responders including 412th Security Forces Squadron, 412th Medical Group and the Edwards Air Force Base Fire Department were evaluated by the base’s Exercise Evaluation Team. The EET members were subsequently evaluated by members of the Air Force Materiel Command Inspector General team who have been on base for a week inspecting various units and departments of the 412th Test Wing and Air Force Test Center. It is all a part of Edwards AFB’s Consolidated Unit Inspection, which is scheduled to wrap up Jan. 22.

A forklift moves a training vehicle into place as part of a traffic accident scene before a 911 call was sent out to begin the HAZMAT exercise.

The phrase “Exercise, exercise, exercise” has been resonating through squadrons, offices and airwaves with greater frequency around Edwards the past two weeks.
With the ongoing Consolidated Unit Inspection, Edwards personnel got the chance to demonstrate to Air Force Materiel Command inspectors their emergency response capabilities with three separate exercises, which culminated in Desert Wind 13-03 Jan. 15.

After two exercises Jan. 11 involving an earthquake scenario and increased force protection measures due to a possible threat, which were scenarios provided by AFMC Inspector General, Team Edwards demonstrated how they conduct their own exercises with a hazardous material spill situation while AFMC inspectors looked on.

To make the exercise as realistic as possible, dummies were used to simulate victims for first responders to evaluate and treat. This “vicitm” wasn’t quite so lucky, she was simulated to be dead on scene.

“This HAZMAT exercise is the third and final scenario required for the CUI,” said Frank Sporer, acting Installation Exercise program manager. “The exercises last Friday demonstrated how the base responded to scenarios provided by the AFMC IG inspectors; today, we are showing them how we conduct our own exercises.”

Exercise officials brought out vehicles and several barrels to simulate a vehicle accident involving injuries and a possible chemical spill.

The scenario involved 300 gallons of Trichlorobenzenes being spilled onto Rosamond Blvd. behind Bldg. 3000.

In a real world situation, Trichlorobenzenes presents a contact and respiratory hazard.

Three hundred gallons of Trichlorobenzenes were spilled in the HAZMAT exercise. Members of the Edwards AFB Fire Department had to assess the accident scene before providing treatment to the vicitms.

Under the watchful eye of the EET, first responders from the 412th Security Forces Squadron, Edwards Fire Department and 412th Medical Group responded to the 911 call within minutes and assessed the situation, while workers in Bldg. 3000 conducted Shelter-In-Place procedures to protect them from possible contamination.

The simulated traffic accident involved one injured motorist and one dead. Fire fighters had to determine the level of contamination before treating the victims.
SFS cordoned off roads leading to the accident site while firefighters and medical personnel assessed the situation and later extracted one of the motorists from his vehicle to conduct first aid measures. The “victim” was then transported (simulated) to Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, Calif.

“We try to conduct each exercise as realistically as possible with all aspects of emergency management procedures” said William O. Redick, Fire Protection specialist and EET member. “The Exercise Evaluation Team observes how emergency personnel respond and how they conduct measures to save life, environment and property.”

Team Edwards will find out their assessment from the AFMC IG team during an out brief on the final day of the CUI Jan. 22.

Members from the Air Force Materiel Command Inspector General team watch how the HAZMAT exercise unfolds along with members of the Edwards Exercise Evaluation Team.

First responders from the 412th Security Forces Squadron, 412th Medical Group and Edwards AFB Fire Department responded to the simulated accident scene for the HAZMAT exercise, Jan. 15. The responders had to keep their distance due to the simulated spill of Trichlorobenzenes, which is a dangerous chemical.

Members of the Edwards AFB Fire Department take HAZMAT readings before attempting to treat simulated casualties during the exercise.




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