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Emergency Responders receive integrated CBRN training

Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice, is assisted in donning his level A chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suit during an integrated base emergency response capability training exercise at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. The level A CBRN suit is a fully encapsulated ensemble, with a self-contained breathing apparatus, used to respond to “all-hazards” situations.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice, is assisted in donning his level A chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suit during an integrated base emergency response capability training exercise at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. The level A CBRN suit is a fully encapsulated ensemble, with a self-contained breathing apparatus, used to respond to “all-hazards” situations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Wet bulb temperatures are closely monitored throughout the integrated base emergency response capability training exercises at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. Under black flag conditions, emergency responders are limited to working only 10 minutes inside of the suits in order to avoid health risks brought on by the extreme heat and humidity.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Wet bulb temperatures are closely monitored throughout the integrated base emergency response capability training exercises at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. Under black flag conditions, emergency responders are limited to working only 10 minutes inside of the suits in order to avoid health risks brought on by the extreme heat and humidity. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Senior Airman Timothy Burnett, 51st Medical Group Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering journeyman, and Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice, are assisted into their level A chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suits as part of an exercise at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015.  The scenario is part of a week-long series of intense, integrated base emergency response capability training exercises for initial and follow-on responders.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Senior Airman Timothy Burnett, 51st Medical Group Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering journeyman, and Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice, are assisted into their level A chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suits as part of an exercise at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. The scenario is part of a week-long series of intense, integrated base emergency response capability training exercises for initial and follow-on responders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Senior Airman Timothy Burnett, 51st Medical Group Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering journeyman and Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice use equipment that allows them to identify simulated radioactive isotopes and take airborne readings to assess danger levels during an exercise at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. The scenario is part of a week-long series of intense, integrated base emergency response capability training exercises for initial and follow-on responders.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Senior Airman Timothy Burnett, 51st Medical Group Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental engineering journeyman and Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management apprentice use equipment that allows them to identify simulated radioactive isotopes and take airborne readings to assess danger levels during an exercise at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. The scenario is part of a week-long series of intense, integrated base emergency response capability training exercises for initial and follow-on responders. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Senior Airman Akil Ochoa, a 51st Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, checks the blood pressure, heart rate, and internal temperature of an Airman pre-and post-wear of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suits during an integrated base emergency response capability training exercise held at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. Studies on the effect CBRN equipment has on the wearer show that temperature increases while wearing the suits. The increased heat can cause a dangerous spike in the core body temperature of the wearer, resulting in loss of dexterity, cognitive thought and reduced motor skills.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

Senior Airman Akil Ochoa, a 51st Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, checks the blood pressure, heart rate, and internal temperature of an Airman pre-and post-wear of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suits during an integrated base emergency response capability training exercise held at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug 4, 2015. Studies on the effect CBRN equipment has on the wearer show that temperature increases while wearing the suits. The increased heat can cause a dangerous spike in the core body temperature of the wearer, resulting in loss of dexterity, cognitive thought and reduced motor skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Amber Grimm)

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Emergency Managers from the 51st Civil Engineer Squadron teamed up with Bioenvironmental Engineers from the 51st Aerospace Medicine Squadron August 3-7, to participate in a series of intense, integrated base emergency response capability training exercises.

Alliance Solutions Group, a company that has developed a unique training platform that integrates the individual capabilities of fire and emergency services, bioenvironmental engineers, and readiness and emergency management shops into a cohesive response unit, coached the teams through scenarios based off of tactics utilized by opposing forces, while adding in a radiological aspect. ASG instructors have visited various Air Force bases across the Pacific region to conduct in-depth training with the initial and follow-on responders.

In one scenario, emergency managers and bioenvironmental engineers responded to a simulated vehicle-borne, improvised explosive device that detonated outside of a building. The teams had to respond appropriately in order to determine what had the potential impact was to the area.

Wearing level A, fully encapsulated, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection suits with self-contained breathing apparatus, Senior Airman Timothy Burnett, 51st AMDS bioenvironmental engineering journeyman, and Airman 1st Class Benjamin Thompson, 51st CES emergency management apprentice, were the first to analyze the scene. They utilized equipment that allowed them to identify the simulated radioactive isotopes and take airborne readings to assess the danger levels at the scene.

"The level A [CBRN suit] has a window that offers no peripherals so you can wind up with tunnel vision, and it's hot; very hot," said Thompson.

Studies on the effect of CBRN equipment and the wearer show that temperature increases in the suits can cause a dangerous spike in the core body temperature of the wearer, resulting in loss of dexterity, cognitive thought and reduced motor skills.

"Heat is a big factor for us as emergency responders," said Staff Sgt. Steven Staab, a 51st AMDS bioenvironmental engineer craftsman. "When we're in these suits it gets pretty hot, and you can feel yourself getting drained physically and mentally trying to do all that you need to do out in the field."

"These exercises are designed to push them to their physical and mental limits," said Jessica Feil, an ASG instructor. This week not only allowed the teams' time to integrate and practice responding, but trained and refined their skills in hazmat operations.

"This training has given us an opportunity for the practical application of skills while teaching us new ones, identifying any weaknesses and helping us to work with our counterparts to see where are combined capabilities lie," said Staab.