More than 50 Airmen from the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing attended training at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama, Feb. 12-18. The group, comprised mainly of members of the 120th medical group and augmented by Airmen from the unit’s fire department, civil engineering, and public affairs, assembled at the unit’s small air terminal on Sunday and traveled aboard one of the unit’s C-130 Hercules aircraft to the training. “The training provides a joint training opportunity to integrate with our local hospital, emergency department, emergency medical services, public health, fire department and public affairs counterparts,” said Maj. William Thompson, medical group administrator. “Joint, integrated planning, preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery, training and exercises are requirements for Guard medical units in accordance with Department of Defense and Air Force instructions.” Upon arrival at the CDP, the Airmen were divided into three groups specific to each member’s specialty and integrated with civilian students from various public health and healthcare organizations for the five days of training. “Coming to the CPD allows us to accomplish our annual medical readiness training and exercise requirements and complete some knowledge components of our Air Force specialty code,” Thompson said. Thompson said the courses: Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents, Hospital Emergency Response Training for Mass Casualty Incidents, and Emergency Medical Operations for CBRNE Incidents, were provided to the unit at no cost to the unit by FEMA. Healthcare Leadership for Mass Casualty Incidents, according to the FEMA CDP website, addresses disaster preparedness at the facility and system level to prepare healthcare leaders for any incident that results in multiple casualties, whether it is the result of a natural disaster; an accidental or intentional release of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosives hazard; or a disease outbreak that results in an epidemic or pandemic. The course focuses on preparing healthcare leaders to make critical decisions in all-hazards disaster emergency preparedness activities. “Bringing in a team of military and mixing it in with civilians we were learning about each other at first, and as the week was going into the exercise we were integrating well with one another and we were learning from each other,” said Lt. Col. Laurie A Noel, a nurse with the 120th medical group. “,” said Lt. Col. Laurie Knolls.

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