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Story by: Sgt. Major Corine Lombardo -
Dated: Thu, Jun 18, 2015
CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, NY - Dozens of Camp Smith Training Site personnel and local emergency medical and fire units tested evacuation procedures, here, June 13.
The rehearsal required emergency responders to remove occupants from a roll-over vehicle accident, assess and treat simulated injuries while in a wooded training area. Once patients were stabilized, they were evacuated by ambulance and helicopter.
According to Lt. Col. Joseph Cetta, Camp Smith Training Site Garrison Commander, the rehearsal had two goals.
The exercise allowed the garrison of the camp, located near Peekskill, N.Y., to test and validate Camp Smith’s operating procedures for dealing with an emergency requiring local support. It also provided local responders and Soldiers the chance to become familiar with each others’ procedures if they have to work together to save someone’s life, Cetta said.
“It worked well and we’re very pleased with the outcome,” Cetta said. “The greatest benefit is the chance to interact with the Continental Village Fire Department in this environment before an emergency.”
The department serves as the "on-call" responder for the 1,600 acre training site.
“Every training opportunity enhances our ability to respond quicker. Bottom line, it helps save lives,” said Chief Dan Brophy, head of the department.
“The more we know about the layout of Camp Smith, the quicker we can maneuver around and find a location if there’s an actual emergency,” Brophy said.
Also making their job easier is having military personnel on site that are Combat Life Saver qualified, Brophy said.
Combat Life Savers are known as CLS, for short.
As part of the training scenario Spec. David Sharbowicz, a medic assigned to 1156th Engineer Company came upon the accident scene and was quickly able to secure the site and determine the level of injuries sustained by the occupants.
“We waited for the EMS to arrive and provided information based on our assessment,” Sharbowicz explained.
“Having a CLS already on the scene when we arrive enhances our ability to make quick decisions. It helps tremendously, since they’re able to triage a casualty and relay it to the firemen or paramedics when they arrive ;“ it makes things go faster,” Brophy said.
Every unit that trains on Camp Smith is required to have a percentage of qualified Soldiers trained in CLS, based on the number of Soldiers training. In any emergency a CLS will be the first on the scene to treat a casualty and assess the situation, explained Cetta.
Also participating in the rehearsal were Cortlandt Regional Paramedics, Peekskill Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Life Net of NY Air 2, Wallkill.
“This was an excellent opportunity for us to work together with first responders from the community and to get face time with the folks we’ll be working with in case we ever do need them for a life threatening event.,” said David Rogers, Camp Smith’s Safety Manager and training organizer.