Sailors Volunteer as 'Victims' for Kitsap County Emergency Management Exercise

Story Number: NNS060425-12Release Date: 4/25/2006 9:12:00 PM
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By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Spencer Webster, Naval Base Kitsap Public Affairs

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- More than 20 Sailors from USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Naval Base Kitsap Security and Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific, as well as a U.S. Marine from Marine Corps Security Force Company, Bangor, volunteered to serve as simulated victims in Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management's inaugural incident exercise here April 19-20.

Before the 'victims' could begin to play their parts, they had to be made up with simulated injuries, called moulage, such as complex fractures, burns, cuts and abrasions to increase the realism of the emergency response.

One of the volunteers appreciated how preparation before an incident would save lives.

"It shows Kitsap County is taking actions to be prepared in the event of a real situation," said Master-at-Arms Seaman James Miller. "I felt good about volunteering, because I saw how the agencies worked together and the processes they had to go through."

According to Phyllis Mann, director, Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management, the incident simulations included a chemical attack on the first day of the exercise and a series of vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VIED) on the second day.

"The Urban Search and Rescue Team, Washington Disaster Medical Assistance Team and local agencies have never practiced together," said Mann. "So if we have a real event in Kitsap County, be it an earthquake or a national security event, the same people would show up, and we wouldn't know how to 'play' with them.

"I could not do this exercise without the Sailors," she added. "They are always so willing to help us."

According to Larry Akers, director, Kitsap County Emergency Services Readiness Complex, which has maintained a close working relationship with the Navy, this exercise will hopefully provide the Kitsap County community increased peace of mind, including the Sailors and their families.

"With this drill, if the Sailors are out to sea and an incident occurs in the shipyard or other facility, the families can know that these same organizations will respond," he said. "Emergency responders from the entire region will support in simulations and real events, and we truly appreciate the Navy's help."

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