MPs assist clinic personnel drill for active shooter, real-world emergencies

| January 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Schofield Barracks Health Clinic Staff, Federal Fire Fighters, Military Police, and various other agencies share information at the incident command post during an active shooter exercise conducted on Schofield Barracks on Jan. 18. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Story and photos by
Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown
8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs
8th Theater Sustainment Command

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — As sirens sounded throughout the U.S. Army Health Clinic, here, a voice came through the loudspeakers crisp and clear: “Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.”

Jan. 18, an active shooter response exercise was conducted in order to validate the response plans and ability of multiple organizations and agencies to work cohesively during a rapid deployment situation.

“Joint training, such as our annual active shooter event, allows us to work cooperatively with multiple organizations across the installation to ensure we can best serve and protect our patients and staff,” said Sgt. Maj. Joel J. Thomas, the senior enlisted adviser for the USAHC-SB.

Schofield Barracks Health Clinic Staff and Federal Fire Fighters treat a simulated patient during an active shooter exercise conducted on Schofield Barracks on Jan. 18. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

“This style of training allows us to respond to emergencies quickly, mitigating the potential risk for casualties,” said Thomas.

During the training scenario, an armed individual began firing a weapon within one wing of the clinic before attempting to move to other areas.

The individual was located and captured within minutes and responding agencies were able to return the clinic to normal operations in less than 90 minutes.

Battalion Chief Shawn Howe, Federal Fire Department Training Division, said, “It is important to participate in Joint Emergency Response Training Scenarios to identify gaps or limitations in our plans, protocols or procedures, and providing opportunities to share lessons learned and to improve the understanding of individual roles and the roles of our partners.

“It better prepares us for a real-world event. We need to be able to communicate and work together with other agencies to mitigate emergencies,” said Howe. “Joint training allows us to practice and improve our multiagency response.”

1st Lt. Carrie Ferminpentivolpi, a Law Enforcement Operations officer with the Law Enforcement Division of the Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, served as the incident commander during the exercise.

Schofield Barracks Health Clinic Staff, Federal Fire Fighters and Military Police provide aid to a simulated patient during an active shooter exercise conducted on Schofield Barracks on Jan. 18. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

Ferminpentivolpi said that she always looks forward to helping the community feel safer during any exercise that is conducted on the installation.

“Our training tends to be as realistic as possible,” said Ferminpentivolpi. “It’s purpose is to test the groups mental readiness and ability to react in a timely manner.”

Thomas agreed saying, “Readiness is a top priority, and this type of training can be utilized in many capacities – from responding to a threat at home station or deployed. This training hones in on the ability of our entire staff to react effectively during dangerous situations.

“Last weekend (Jan. 13), we all had a significant scare. We want out community to know, and be confident, that we are ready for all emergency situations,” said Thomas, referencing a recent text message alert that was sent out erroneously regarding a ballistic missile threat to the state.

“This training reinforces our skills to reacting to major events,” he said.

Howe said that it is important for the community to understand that the primary goal for every emergency response exercise is to protect the health and safety of the emergency responders, the public and the environment while minimizing the disruption of community activities.

“As servants of our community, it is our duty and responsibility to provide unmatched all-hazards response capabilities,” said Col. Shannon-Mikal Lucas, director of DES and commander, 8th Military Police Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command. “We do that by bringing together the widest array of emergency response assets, agencies and audiences to ensure the highest levels of safety and security to our Soldiers, families and D.A. (Department of the Army) civilians.

“This exercise is just one example of our continuous effort to synchronize our response while assisting in validating unit’s emergency action plans,” said Lucas, “thus, ensuring Soldier, unit and installation readiness.”

Schofield Barracks Health Clinic Staff and Federal Fire Fighters treat a simulated patient during an active shooter exercise conducted on Schofield Barracks on January 18. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown, 8th Military Police Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command)

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