Chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear hazards pose threats to Airmen and the mission that could be detrimental if not taken care of properly.
Several base agencies participated in an intensive four day Counter CBRN All-Hazard Management Response course that was developed to ensure installations are prepared to respond and recover from any and all-hazard incidents. It is only held at 15 locations throughout the Air National Guard each year.
“Whether we want them to or not, accidents happen,” said Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Enyart, 138th Civil Engineer Squadron installation emergency manager. “In order to ensure we can complete our mission and protect our personnel and property, we must be able to mitigate the effects of any incident.”
Members from Security Forces, Emergency Management, Fire Department, and Medical Group worked alongside representatives from the Tulsa Health Department, the Tulsa Area Emergency Management team, Hillcrest Hospitals and EMSA during tabletop exercises, allowing base agencies to coordinate support that mirrors what would happen during a real-world incident.
“One of the great benefits in this course is that it emphasizes the importance of our partnerships within the local community,” Enyart said. “If something were to happen, it would take personnel both on and off the installation working together to fix it, so having personnel from various community emergency support agencies was a great addition.”
The course provided first responders the opportunity to test the plans and checklists their agencies already had in place to ensure effectiveness. The training environment also enabled the participants to receive feedback immediately following the exercise.
Capt. Kenneth Ground, 138th Medical Group industrial hygienist and bio-environmental engineer, explained that you can never practice for emergencies enough.
“Exercises like this help flush out any imperfections we might not know about until we actually work through it,” Ground said. “It’s important to know the capabilities of every agency and understand what they bring to the fight, so in the time of an emergency, we have the ability to respond.”
The CAMR course was facilitated by the company Federal Resources, which has teams of trainers and subject matter experts that travel around the country to provide this training to military bases and other city and state entities.
“This course not only provided great training on how to do this but also allowed us to exercise our current response capabilities,” Enyart explained.
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