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181st IW, local partners conduct emergency response training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dianne Pirog,
  • 181st Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

HULMAN FIELD AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ind. – Indiana National Guard Airmen assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing participated in an emergency response exercise with civilian agencies March 5.

The exercise, dubbed HUF 24, involved a simulated plane crash at an airshow with victims scattered throughout the area. First responders from all agencies worked together to triage each patient.

Members of the 181st Intelligence Wing worked with Vigo County Emergency Management’s Local Emergency Planning Committee, or LEPC, Terre Haute Regional Airport, and Ivy Tech Community College Nursing program.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to put together an exercise, it’s a good thing,” said Jeff Fisher, the Terre Haute Regional Airport fire chief. “We all do things a little differently, so to come together to learn how each agency works prepares us for real-world situations.”

Melissa McCoy, an Ivy Tech associate professor and nursing faculty member, said the exercise provided experience her students cannot get in the classroom.

“This behind-the-scenes training has given my students skills for disaster preparedness as well as hands-on training like back-boarding and C-collar training that we normally don’t get to participate in,” she said.

As military members, 181st IW Airmen are ready at a moment’s notice. Exercises like HUF 24 improve the 181st IW’s readiness to respond to calls for aid as part of the National Guard’s domestic response mission.

“We are very much a practice-as-you-play type of unit,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Mathis, a search and extraction medic with the 181st IW. “We go into all exercises as if we are activated and go in with the mindset as if this is actually happening.”

Indeed, training at the 181st IW’s home base adds a greater sense of reality to exercises.

“One of the beneficial parts of this simulation is it’s a very real possibility for us being next to the airport,” said Mathis.