A Black Hawk helicopter crash landing was reenacted at the Pentagon heliport Jan. 19 to test the readiness of area first responders and emergency medical units.
One support group leading the way at the mass casualty exercise was the Fort Myer Fire Department.
"It went very well for us," FMFD Capt. Roger Rearden said during the exercise. "I was on the engine, so our response is a little delayed because we are coming from [JBM-HH], so we had to simulate that. We went along with our plan, hooked up to a water supply and our crew assisted in the accountability of the crew and triage and any other extrication that needed to be done."
Also taking part in the exercise in front of the Pentagon Mall Entrance were the Arlington Fire Department, Pentagon physicians and registered nurses, members of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, air traffic tower personnel and staff members from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
"The scenario is that a helicopter was landing with [a] VIP and staff, and they were landing at the Pentagon heliport. On the hover landing [the copter] lost power and hit the ground very hard," said Eric Cardona, the Pentagon Heliport facility chief. "[Members of] the [Fort Myer] fire department are the primary responders, and they are finding and treating the worse cases and bringing them out of the aircraft."
Pentagon employees, who were notified of the exercise via the Computer Emergency Notification System, watched from upper-level windows and the steps of the mall entrance. FMFD was the initial team spotted by spectators after the simulated crash while AFD members escorted "victims" away from the heliport.
While FMFD personnel drill regularly at the Pentagon, a comprehensive Pentagon emergency exercise is conducted once a year on the Pentagon grounds.