DVIDS – News – CERF-P partners with civilian entities to prepare for collaborative crisis response

Airmen and Soldiers from the Wisconsin Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Package (CERF-P) held a training event at the Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center in Appleton, Wisconsin on May 14, 2022.

The Wisconsin National Guard’s CERF-P has partnered with the 104th Aviation Unit of Madison, Wisconsin, as well as Southern Waukesha County Canine Search and Rescue Services and ThedaStar Air Medical Services of Neenah, Wis. The various military and civilian groups worked together at this event to train for specific crisis scenarios in which the guard would need to work directly with civilian entities.

Staff Sgt. Nathan Sullivan, a medical observer-controller-trainer (OCT) for the 115th FW and liaison for Wisconsin CERF-P, is responsible for helping facilitate the exercise and integrating the medical element with aviation de the military, ThedaStar, and the canine search and rescue team.

“Today is truly unique because our medical element gets to helicopter patients out of their tents and practice patient movement in and out of our treatment center,” said Sullivan said. “Our search and extraction teams are on hand to hoist people out of the trapped areas onto the helicopters at the same time as that. So we can practice a bit more in the real world than we otherwise would have.

Sullivan stressed the importance of providing ranger training that includes civilian partners they would likely need to collaborate with if a natural disaster or other crisis were to occur.

“It’s a great opportunity to work with civilian partners,” Sullivan said. “What we’ve discovered during the pandemic is that we don’t work alone in real life. When the real chaos happens, this training will make it less chaotic.

During the exercise, the guards were trained and tested on their ability to perform medical tasks such as setting up a field medical site, treating casualties, and loading casualties onto Blackhawks and a civilian medical helicopter. The guards also participated in search and rescue elements such as extracting victims from elevator shafts, lifting victims from the roofs of several storey buildings, as well as working with civilian search and rescue officers. rescue K-9 to locate victims.

Phil Buchholz, search and rescue chief and owner of Southern Waukesha County Canine Search and Rescue, stressed the importance of guard members working with K-9 units not just to find victims, but to better help victims who have different abilities. Buchholz has several family members with autism and understands how overwhelming a seemingly normal situation can be for them, let alone a crisis or natural disaster.

“Some may freeze up and some may get violent because they don’t feel safe,” Buchholtz said. “That’s where dogs come in handy, they give people that comfort and security. When we take a look at the search and rescue environment and someone is not well with loud noises or an overly stimulating environment, the dogs will notice.

Sullivan also stressed the importance of Guard members not only being trained to work alongside a range of civilian entities in a crisis, but the importance of Guard members being prepared and trained to work with and help a range of victims.

“Meeting the needs of all of our people is extremely important to us,” Sullivan said. “Whether it’s children, the elderly or people with mental or physical disabilities.”

Date taken: 14.05.2022
Date posted: 15.05.2022 15:00
Story ID: 420771
Location: Wisconsin, United States

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