JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Joint Base Charleston participated with multiple Dorchester County emergency response agencies during a community partnered mass casualty exercise at Ashley Ridge High School, June 6, 2017.
The exercise aimed to improve interagency communication and response to large scale emergencies.
“Although today’s scenario was based on a gas explosion, the agencies involved are prepared to respond to many other types of emergency situations,” said Tiffany Norton, Dorchester County public information officer. “Response, triage and transportation are the key to any effective emergency situation. Thankfully events like this do not happen every day but, in case we have to react, we want to be confident as a community in our ability.”
Master Sgt. Kebony Smith, 628th Medical Group dental flight chief, headed the moulage team for the exercise. To provide the best training possible, the team of Airmen applied cosmetics to volunteer Airmen and Ashley Ridge High School drama students to simulate realistic injuries ranging from minor abrasions and bruises to major lacerations.
“We were tasked with creating realistic wounds to amplify the realism of the exercise,” said Smith. “I think Dorchester County and Joint Base Charleston are prepared to handle such emergency situations. Unfortunately, we live in a time where we must prepare for the worst.”
Airmen that participated in the emergency response portion of the exercise were able to refresh their skills while observing operations from a different perspective.
“It was a pleasure working with civilian agencies during the exercise,” said Capt. Dannielle Yuen, 628th Medical Group team chief of patient support. “Everyone was positive and quick to thank us for our service. It provided an opportunity to see how operations are run in the civilian sector, and gave us ideas to bring back to the military clinic to improve our processes.”
In the scenario, Dorchester County first responders made an initial assessment of the casualties and scale of damage, realizing they would be pressed for resources and personnel. They requested additional medical personnel and means of transportation from Joint Base Charleston. As part of the exercise, team members simulated transporting casualties to Summerville and Trident medical centers for treatment.
“I believe today was a success and I really appreciate the participation of Joint Base Charleston in the exercise,” said Doug Warren, Dorchester County emergency medical services director. “The base is a critically important part of this community.”