By Cpl Sung Il Choi (IMCOM)December 5, 2011
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan Main Post Mail Room personnel underwent a Suspicious Package Training Exercise to hone their the ability to protect the Community, secure the area and keep personnel safe, Nov. 30.
The exercise was designed to standardize and rehearse safety, reporting, and decontamination procedures for first responders and mail room personnel in the event of a suspicious package discovery.
The exercise began after an alert mail handler noticed a suspicious mail item which appeared to be leaking an unknown white powdery substance.
"My primary role was to notify my first line supervisor and all the other Soldiers and workers that there was a suspicious package that could be dangerous so they could evacuate the building," said Spc. Kozzi Greene from 19th Human Resources Command. "I was to cover the package and wait for help. I had to stay within eye contact of the package to warn anyone else not to come near."
Following protocol, after shutting down heating, ventilating, air conditioning, fans and securing all doors and windows, mail room personnel called 911.
Fire Chief Alex Temporado provided the entry team with special instructions and prepared a personnel decontamination site and cordoned off the area for several hundred meters. Military Police did their part securing the site, re-directing traffic and keeping bystanders away from the scene.
Only two fire fighters served as entry personnel. The entry team's responsibilities were to preserve the scene and analyze and identify the contents of the suspected letter. The entry team stayed in constant communication with the Incident Commander until they took samples of the substances and evacuated safely.
Trainees lastly went over a summary of the exercise and reminded everyone of their responsibilities and roles during an actual incident.
Assistant Fire Chief Harold Persons said the training serves as an eye opener to all the personnel involved.
"Personnel in the Mail Room had the opportunity to practice their internal response procedures when encountering a suspicious package and the post fire fighters tested their equipment and trained their personnel."
"Anyone concerned with this type of matter can find more on AFN online or talk to the fire department and they'll be more than happy to give information you need," Greene added.