THORNTON, Colo. - Soldiers from the Utah National Guard came to the aid of the North Suburban Medical Center when a notional tornado struck the medical campus at 2 a.m. July 24 creating the need to evacuate the patients inside.<br /> <br /> The scenario is part of a week-long exercise Vigilant Guard, a multi-state, multi-agency, emergency response exercise aimed at training military and civilian organizations to responding to domestic emergencies and catastrophes. <br /> <br /> The exercise includes roughly 2,300 National Guard soldiers and airmen from eight different states, as well as hundreds of civilian medical personnel and first responders. <br /> <br /> Utah’s National Guard sent a CERFP [(CBRN-Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Enhanced Response Force Package] to the exercise disaster scene to help search for and recover victims. The team can also provide care, ranging from basic first aid to critical care. <br /> <br /> Once patients are stabilized for transportation, they are then evacuated by ambulance or helicopter to other medical facilities. <br /> <br /> At this scenario, Guard personnel trained alongside the physicians and nurses of North Metro Medical Center. For many of the medical staff, the exercise is their first encounter with the military.<br /> <br /> “I’m really impressed,” said Jordan Shuford, an intensive-care registered nurse. “This is fantastic - the way it is all laid out, the smoothness and ease that it has worked has been great. I think the cooperation with the National Guard has been wonderful.” <br /> <br /> Additionally, the Colorado National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 135th General Support Aviation provided three UH-72 Lakota medevac helicopters transporting patients and emergency supplies.