Friday, September 12, 2014

106th Rescue Wing participates in regional emergency management training

by Senior Airman Christopher S. Muncy
106th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

9/11/2014 - NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Four Emergency Management Airmen with the 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton Beach participated in the first Air National Guard Region 2 emergency management training event at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station here Aug. 4-8.

They joined more than two dozen emergency management managers and bioenvironmental technicians representing seven New York ANG wings for critical skill development and improvement.

"Perhaps the most important element of our regional training was the chance to coalesce ... and support one another," said Chief Master Sgt. Doug Treut, the regional chief.

The event was hosted by the 107th Air Wing and included multiple subject matter experts from across the country. New York ANG Airmen from the 105th AW, 106th Rescue Wing, 107th AW, 109th AW, 174th Attach Wing and 177th Fighter Wing trained together for the entirety of the event.

The first several days were dedicated to classroom training and graduated from basic to more complicated scenarios. By the end of the week, Airmen were training under real-world conditions in environments that simulated poisonous air masses, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear events, as well as other catastrophic settings. In addition, the Airmen involved simulated responding to and neutralizing a suspected methamphetamine laboratory.

A proper response involves coordination amongst multiple teams and systems. Working from an Incident Action Plan, emergency managers must be experienced in setting up inflatable decontamination tents, know how to set up communication systems between various agencies spread out through the United States, and how their equipment works to detect possible contaminants.

The event culminated in an "All Chemical Response" exercise with all aspects of the training put into play. Augmentees from the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Fire Department provided a live decontamination line for first responders.

The emergency management training provided a great opportunity for members to develop teamwork, coordination, and overcoming challenges in the event they are called upon during an actual response.

"We encountered problems along the way, but that served the greater purpose of adapting and overcoming, an inherent [emergency manager] trait," Treut said.

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