NDMS exercise brings mass of emergency responders to D-M
By Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski, 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 06, 2014
DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
D-M partnered with multiple emergency response agencies from the surrounding community for a National Disaster Medical System exercise that took place here Nov. 5.
The exercise allowed key stakeholders to improve readiness in the event of a real-world natural disaster.
The conditions of the exercise required D-M to be the primary reception site for victims of a simulated natural disaster occurring on the Gulf Coast.
In the event of a natural disaster, emergency response teams would evacuate personnel to D-M, said Tech. Sgt. Crystal Fabian, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management plans and operations NCO in charge. D-M would then provide the avenue to move patients to appropriate hospitals.
The exercise began when more than 50 simulated patients were unloaded from a C-130J Hercules aircraft.
"As soon as the patients leave the aircraft, they are brought to the triage area where they're registered and their medical conditions are evaluated," said Capt. Tamara Turnbull, 355th Aerospace Medical Squadron flight medicine flight commander. "The more urgent conditions need to be moved first, so they would go on any ambulances we have available."
With the involvement of D-M, eight fire departments, six hospitals, and the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, flawless logistics was the key to achieving success during the exercise.
"Any time you involve multiple agencies, there's always going to be areas that need adjustments," Fabian said. "That's just a matter of bringing so many different agencies together with so many different operating procedures. The exercise went very well concerning the coordination between the agencies and their concerted efforts to make it happen."
Aside from sharpening the collaborative efforts between D-M personnel and emergency response teams across Southern Arizona, Turnbull mentioned how she personally benefitted from the exercise.
"This exercise has allowed me to use all of the skills and experiences I've ever had in my nursing career and bundled them into one where I can be an asset to the team," Turnbull said. "This is what we train for."