By Capt. Thomas Cieslak/16th MP Bde. PAOJanuary 7, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Rescue units from Simmons Army Air Field responded to a simulated helicopter crash at the aerial gunnery range in the training area of Fort Bragg, Dec. 9, 2010.
The exercise helped assessed the SAAF emergency response plan at night in a remote area of Fort Bragg where aircraft operate as well as fulfill a once-a-year requirement for such a drill.
"I think with the night time and the smoke and the additional aircraft around the area just added to the realism," said Robert Beaty, the airfield manager for Simmons Army Air Field.
Rescue Truck 81 was the first on the scene with firefighters putting out the fire and evaluating the crewmembers.
With the fire out and the helicopter completely turned off, the firefighters called in the paramedics to triage the simulated casualties.
"Our initial job on the scene is to an initial medical evaluation on what we have and then choose what resources we need to ask for," said Peggy Knight, a paramedic at Fort Bragg.
The exercise allows all first responders to practice their role in a real world crash.
The Fort Bragg Provost Marshal's Office assisted by establishing control points to ensure only rescue workers had access to the crash site.
Firefighters focused on putting out the fire and rescuing the people involved in the crash. Paramedics rendered the aid that was needed to the injured.
The most important part of this exercise was familiarization and teamwork, explained Knight. This allows us to iron out the wrinkles, she added.