Navy Region Northwest Installations Team with Local Emergency Groups for Exercise

Story Number: NNS180919-06Release Date: 9/19/2018 1:53:00 PM
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By MC2 Vaughan Dill, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Northwest

NAVY REGION NORTHWEST (NNS) -- Installations throughout Navy Region Northwest (NRNW) teamed with local emergency responders in the region in the earthquake response and recovery exercise Citadel Rumble, Sept. 5-7.

Citadel Rumble 2018 tests NRNW installations' abilities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from hazardous scenarios. In this case, the scenario was a major earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone.

Installations and their tenant commands from Naval Station Everett (NSE), Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) and Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) ran various scenarios throughout the three-day exercise, testing their disaster preparedness plans and procedures if a major seismic event were to occur in the region.

“The annual Citadel Rumble exercise is an opportunity to educate our Sailors, civilians, and families on the proper procedures to follow during an earthquake and allows us to evaluate our emergency response plans/procedures with an eye towards improving our resiliency during a real emergency,” said Rear Adm. Scott Gray, commander, NRNW. “We conduct these exercise scenarios as if they are real-world emergencies in order to improve our preparedness and ability to respond.”

NHB simulated multiple casualties throughout the hospital, including a partial collapse of the building and evacuation procedures for staff and patients. Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services was joined by members of the Bremerton Fire Department and Central Kitsap Fire Rescue, responding to the hospital to conduct multiple elevated rescues.

“We are doing this training specifically so that we are able to respond, not only for the patients that may need our assistance, but also to ensure the staff is able to respond appropriately and in a coordinated fashion,” said Terry Lerma, medical treatment facility emergency manager for NHB. “Our actions include being able to respond, evaluate our facility and our capability.”

NASWI simulated a man becoming entrapped after falling in a manhole with the ladder breaking off following the earthquake as part of their scenario during the exercise.

"Citadel Rumble is a Navy-wide exercise to prepare posture-wise and physically for a natural disaster, utilizing all the components and pieces such as the safety component, the security police component, the fire rescue component and put all our training together and evaluate ourselves in order to be ready," said Alan Sprouse, NASWI Battalion Chief of Training. "A technical rescue takes a lot of different kinds of components and pieces. A lot of players are involved. It's a lot of safety checks to physically send rescuers down into a confined space, so everything from air monitoring to ropes and knot safety has to be covered very specifically."

At NSE, emergency responders were tested with various casualties, including firefighting, and rescuing a person entrapped in a vehicle, as well as response times and emergency management capabilities.

“It’s important to maintain our readiness and understand our ability to posture for these types of natural disaster events,” said Sprouse. “It’s really important for us to be able to test our skills in a multi-unit evolution and be evaluated and see where our get well plan is and how we can get better, and to prove that we can meet our minimum benchmarks.”

NRNW, the third largest fleet concentration area in the continental United States, whose mission is to support the fleet, fighter and family in order to provide ready Naval forces able to execute the nation's defense. 

NRNW is home to approximately 21,000 active duty service members, 16,000 civilian employees, 6,000 drilling reservists, 40,000 family members, and 35,000 Navy retirees.

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Firefighters from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island's Federal Fire and Emergency Services Department triage and hoist a bystander through a manhole during the Navy's natural disaster exercise, Citadel Rumble 2018.
180905-N-KH214-0138 OAK HARBOR, Wash. (Sept. 5, 2018) Firefighters from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island's Federal Fire and Emergency Services Department triage and hoist a bystander through a manhole during the Navy's natural disaster exercise, Citadel Rumble 2018, at NAS Whidbey Island. Citadel Rumble is a Navy-wide earthquake and natural disaster drill providing training and awareness on potential emergency response scenarios that could occur in the aftermath of a large-scale natural disaster. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Wood)
September 6, 2018
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