Operational Readiness Inspection makes sure JBM-HH stays prepared
Firefighters Michael Jackson and Cory Drake carry a "victim" out of Bldg. 219 during the IMCOM simulated fire exercise March 15. The victim, a dummy nicknamed "Lt. Rescue Randy," sustained no injuries.

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall underwent an Operational Readiness Inspection at Bldg. 219 last month. The evaluation, conducted by Installation Management Command Northeast Region, lasted from March 14 - 18.

"The ORI evaluation is a Department of Defense standard. This evaluation was conducted by IMCOM Northeast Region to assess the Fire and Emergency Services programs, to assess if we follow guidance and operational standards," said Assistant Chief-Training Jon Culberson, JBM-HH DES Fire and Emergency Services.

"We're looking to see that they adhere to the Army regulations, DoD instruction and National Fire Protection Association standards, but also part of the things we're looking at, and they're looking at, is that they are properly trained, staffed and resourced," said Fire Protection Specialist IMCOM NER, Operations Division Phillip Wilkinson.

"There are six main areas in the inspection that we look at. We look at administration, training, the operation section and fire prevention. Depending upon what type of garrison we're inspecting, there are three or five exercising areas in which we look; if they have an airfield, it's five, if it doesn't it's three and fire protection engineering," he said.

"This evaluation is done annually by the fire department to make sure they are properly trained and properly resourced, and then every third year, the higher headquarters comes in and does the same check list and gives them an outside, subjective look," Wilkinson said.

Training is also scheduled daily, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually and annually on JBM-HH, Culberson said.

"We treated this drill like any other structural evaluation we've ever had, whether it was on fire, had hazardous chemicals spilled in it or an airplane through the side," Firefighter, Emergency Medical Technician Cory Drake said.

DES knew the evaluation would require a certain type of drill and the Lead Fire Inspector Jeff Sargent would want to see certain things. The scheduled evaluations vary in focus from concentrating on a rescue to depicting how a station handles a fire. "It is not so much run of the mill," Culberson said.

A challenge the Fire and Emergency Services has is finding a place to do it, Culberson said. The last time the evaluation was conducted on JBM-HH, it was done in a building that was being renovated. It gave them space, he said.

A single four-man crew engine company from JBM-HH DES along with Battalion Chief Capt. James Angerett, Culberson, Wilkinson and a dispatcher were present for the evaluation on Monday. The other engine was on stand-by at the Pentagon, Culberson said.

"Unfortunately, for drills, we can't say we're going to stop our real world mission ... the other engine is on stand-by ... initially it wasn't ... but plans tend to change and so we have to adjust, so there has to be some built in flexibility on us being able to do so," he said.

ORI provides headquarters with a look at their garrisons' fire departments and helps them better understand the garrisons, Wilkinson said.

"The structural drill was the only exercise evaluated, the rest of the evaluations were reviews of department administration and management policies and procedures, training, fire prevention and protection systems, vehicle maintenance, respiratory protection programs, staffing levels, fire alarm systems, emergency communications capabilities and hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction response capabilities," Culberson said.

The standards evaluated by ORI create goals and objectives that Fire and Emergency Services strive to meet, he said.

Page last updated Mon April 4th, 2011 at 10:17