By Jim Butters
NAS Jacksonville Training Officer
Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville's emergency responders prepared for the upcoming air show by conducting responses to simple and complex medical emergencies on the airfield Oct. 17.
With the assistance of 18 Keiser University nursing students, role-playing injured air show spectators, Naval Hospital Jacksonville (NH Jax) medical personnel and NAS Jacksonville firefighters and paramedics worked together treating and transporting "victims" to the NH Jax emergency room (ER). ER medical teams surged into action to the mass casualty incident.
The purpose of the drill was to validate the inter-operability of the different agencies that will be working together from pre-staged positions on and around the airfield. From the static displays, to the live performers and expected crowds of more than 50,000, the air show changes the entire landscape of the airfield.
The exercise had unrestricted access to the injured role-players but during the air show the crowds will impact response times to seriously injured spectators. The scenario was centered around what happens during the air show.
During the event, the NAS Jacksonville Fire Depart-ment will be supported by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue, Orange Park and Clay County Fire Departments who will triage and transport injured spectators to NH Jax and local area hospitals. Base police and Navy security forces will combine with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ensure the air show remains a safe place for the anticipated large crowds.
The NAS Jacksonville Air Operations Department plays a major role in converting the airfield from normal operations into the air show venue. They coordinate with all participants, static display units, food and souvenir vendors and emergency responders to make this a successful and safe event.