Hospital evacuated during CBRN incident
August 11, 2013
MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. -- Soldiers from the 300th Chemical Company, Morgantown, W.Va., and the 377th Chemical Company, Richmond, Va., evacuated and decontaminated patients in a simulated Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear incident at the hospital building, Aug. 5 during the U.S. Army North led Vibrant Response 13-2 exercise at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.
According to 2nd Lt. Michael Dziados, task force commander, 300th Chem. Company, "We are going to do a search and removal of any affected people from the nuclear incident. Anybody that is considered non-ambulatory or unable to walk as well as those who are ambulatory we will bring out. We are coordinating with the 377th Chem. Company, a mass decontamination unit, to move massive numbers of people through those lines so that they can get cleaned and moved to the other side."
Dziados explained, "If you look more into what we are doing today, this is not typically what we would do. We have more of an urban search and rescue mission that we are trained to do. We normally go in to do operations like breeching and breaking into concrete walls, searching rubble piles, and going through structures that are collapsing. We do have the ability to go into the CBRN environment and remove patients out of an area like this as well."
"We are working in conjunction with an urban search and rescue unit to provide mass casualty decontamination," said Capt. Thomas Stevens, commander of the 377th Chem. Company. "They are going to extract the victims from the building and bring them to our decontamination line where we will process them and remove all contamination that they may have encountered from the contamination site. Then they will be triaged by a medical unit and from there, depended on the extent of their injuries, they will be transported to a Red Cross facility, a holding area, hospital or be medically evacuated off the site."
The exercise provided a realistic view of what is expected in a real-life incident. For both units, this is their first time participating in Vibrant Response.
"The realism that is provided here is beyond anything that we have been exposed to before. We have dealt with a lot of buildings that have been placed and you can tell that it is a training site," said Dziados. "This is more like how we would be rolling on to a real site, how we would be interacting with other units, and this gives us a really good idea as to how to better utilize the resources around us."