18th Engineers train with Georgia Firefighters
February 11, 2011
SCHWETZINGEN, Germany - Soldiers from 18th Engineer Brigade\'s Emergency Management Assessment Team received Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Standards training from GSM Training Associates' fire chiefs on Tompkins Barracks here recently.
The fire chiefs, based out of Canton, Georgia, spent a week here conducting classroom training and testing the EMAT team on various scenarios, ranging from a chemically contaminated restaurant to reports of chemical manufacturing in a home basement.
"These were real scenarios that the firefighters had encountered on the job before. We learned how to react to these situations and learned how their incident command system works," said Sgt. Adam Mautino, an 18th Eng. Bde. Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader, from Tulsa, Okla.
Members of the team had to identify the hazard, complete a recon of the area, assess casualties if present, and sample and identify the dispersed chemical, all while ensuring proper reporting procedures through their operations section.
During one training scenario, Mautino said he hand-diffused an improvised explosive device.
"There were reports of suspicious activity with chemical agents inside a basement. Upon arriving at the scene, I had to hand-diffuse the IED and clear obstacles out of the way with the robot," he said.
The iRobot PacBot is a common piece of equipment used by EOD technicians to perform remote reconnaissance. Other EMAT members used the MultiRAE and MultiIMS for chemical detection, as well as the iCam, which detects nerve or blister agents.
EMAT incorporates not only chemical operations specialists but medical personnel and EOD technicians in to their missions. For Mautino, this was the first time he was able to work with the EMAT team as their EOD technician.
"I had to focus on what EOD information I needed to bring to the team, what information is most important to them and how to do my job in a way that will help our team accomplish the mission rapidly," said Mautino.
"It was important to learn the different medical processes and what the other members of our team are capable of doing," said Mautino. "Being able to understand the differences and use those to our advantage will really help us work as a team in the future."