FORT HOOD, TX – First responders on Fort Hood took part in the III Corps 2013 full-scale forces response exercise on May 15.
The training exercise began with simulated incidents in the local community, with subsequent Fort Hood events, including vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices resulting in injuries and death. Responders were not forewarned, and their reactions were documented for later after-action reviews.
One simulated event was a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device outside a building near the 79th street gate that left 47 casualties with varying degrees of injuries - from mere scratches and bruises to severe lacerations and shock. Realistic-looking wounds and blood were applied to the volunteers, who wailed and screamed and did everything they could to make the exercise as realistic as possible.
“This training was well set up,” said Michael Watkins, a Fort Hood EMT and retired U.S. Army staff sergeant. “The injuries looked very realistic. Some of the them we expected to see, some were much worse.”
As the exercise was winding down, with the role players all bandaged up and carried away in ambulances, Watkins reflected on the value of this kind of training.
“Training like this, where we care for real people, is always worthwhile,” he said. “My chief will time the response, and evaluate the treatment we gave each patient. I think it went well. We have lots of experience and knowledge treating patients. The paramedics and EMT’s we have here on Fort Hood are quality people.”