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Exercise provides life-saving skills, builds teamwork

Master Sgt. Jaqueline Billups, 28th Medical Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight chief, monitors the heart rate of Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th MDOS bioenvironmental technician, during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. The week-long exercise provided Airmen with training opportunities related to honing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Master Sgt. Jaqueline Billups, 28th Medical Operations Squadron clinical medicine flight chief, monitors the heart rate of Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th MDOS bioenvironmental technician, during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. The week-long exercise provided Airmen with training opportunities related to honing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Bricker, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management NCO in charge, briefs Airmen on the situation they are facing during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014.  Two teams of Airmen participated in simulated radiation scenarios requiring them to test air levels for radiation and establish safety zones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Bricker, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management NCO in charge, briefs Airmen on the situation they are facing during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. Two teams of Airmen participated in simulated radiation scenarios requiring them to test air levels for radiation and establish safety zones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Morgan Lindsey, Alliance Solutions Group Inc. analyst, evaluates how well Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, and Airman 1st Class Ronald Reynolds, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician, perform a task during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. Couillard and Reynolds were evaluated on actions they would take in response to an unsafe environment and how to implement proper safety measures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released))

Morgan Lindsey, Alliance Solutions Group Inc. analyst, evaluates how well Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, and Airman 1st Class Ronald Reynolds, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician, perform a task during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. Couillard and Reynolds were evaluated on actions they would take in response to an unsafe environment and how to implement proper safety measures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released))

Airman 1st Class Ronald Reynolds, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician, and Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, test air quality during a simulated radiation scenario as part of an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. The test determines the type of respiratory protection emergency response teams need in order to safely operate in a compromised environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Airman 1st Class Ronald Reynolds, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician, and Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, test air quality during a simulated radiation scenario as part of an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. The test determines the type of respiratory protection emergency response teams need in order to safely operate in a compromised environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Senior Airman  Roger Pedraza, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, assists Airman 1st Class Ronald Reynolds, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician, with his respiratory mask during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. The mask and Level-A suit protect emergency responders from hazardous materials and contaminated environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

Senior Airman Roger Pedraza, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, assists Airman 1st Class Ronald Reynolds, 28th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management technician, with his respiratory mask during an Integrated Base Emergency Response Capabilities Training at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 22, 2014. The mask and Level-A suit protect emergency responders from hazardous materials and contaminated environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anania Tekurio/Released)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The skills of Ellsworth first responders were put to the test and evaluated during a week-long integrated base emergency response capabilities training exercise here May 19 to 23.

Gauged by the Alliance Solutions Group and Air Combat Command evaluators the training was designed to validate proficiency, teach innovative techniques and synchronize various on-scene and supporting capabilities to include command and control, hot-zone operations, decontamination, sampling, analysis and health risk assessment.

"During the week-long training we evaluated and graded how the responders handle each situation," said Lloyd Miller, ASG Inc. senior industrial hygienist and analyst. "We then send that information to ACC for them to assess."

ASG is a veteran-owned business that offers global emergency management, homeland security and defense, and environmental health and safety solutions to all levels of government.

"The ASG personnel were very knowledgable in all areas," said Staff Sgt. Kathleen Couillard, 28th Medical Operations Squadron bioenvironmental technician, who participated in the training exercise. "I learned a lot and feel as though I'm a better responder because of it."

Airmen from the 28th MDOS bioenvironmental engineering and emergency management sections partnered with the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire and emergency services to participate in the training.

"The program is valuable because it provides us realistic training that we need to be a much better prepared and equipped emergency response team," said Tech. Sgt. Timothy Bricker, 28th CES emergency management NCO in charge.

"It allows all responding agencies to work closely together and learn what each organization brings to the response," Bricker added.

Integrated base emergency response capabilities training is an annual event that not only evaluates emergency responders abilities, but also provides an opportunity for team building.

The results of the training exercise will be used to help ensure the base is as prepared as possible to respond to different events.

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