OKINAWA, Japan --
U.S. Marines and master labor contractors aboard MCAS Futenma participated in an aircraft mishap drill September 21.
The drill was the signature event of Constant Vigilance 2021 on the air station and served to ensure MCAS Futenma personnel and its first responders are able to respond to crises at a moment's notice.
“We got dispatched at approximately 10:00 a.m. to a downed aircraft,” said Cpl. Jason Joseph, a military police officer with the MCAS Futenma Provost Marshal Office, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “PMO arrived and ensured we were able to control what we could until the other units that are responsible for putting out the fire were on scene.”
“Being a first responder, it’s our job to preserve life as long as possible until we can get them further medical assistance.” Cpl. Jason Joseph, a MCAS Futenma PMO military police officer
Joseph, a native of Fort Pierce, Florida, acted as the first responder on scene and was able to identify multiple casualties, triage one of the patients, and transport him to a safe location away from the simulated fire. Joseph and other PMO personnel in the exercise successfully cordoned off the area until more emergency personnel were able to arrive.
Shortly after, Marines with the MCAS Futenma Expeditionary Crash, Fire and Rescue, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Futenma, MCIPAC, and master labor contractors with MCIPAC Fire Emergency Services arrived on scene to extinguish the fire and treat all patients.
“We rolled up on scene and there was debris everywhere,” said Cpl. Benjamin Nistler, an expeditionary firefighting and rescue specialist with the MCAS Futenma EFR, H&HS MCAS Futenma, MCIPAC. “We proceeded with our rescue. We got patients out and then did triage then had Medic 1 and Medic 5 transport one (patient) through medevac and one through ambulance.”
Photo by Cpl. Ryan Pulliam
Nistler, a native of Paynesville, Minnesota, was the incident commander for EFR and controlled the entire response and rescue operations for the drill once he arrived.
“The best part of the drill,” said Nistler, “was the fact that my Marines went in, put out the fire, and got personnel out in a matter of time.”
In less than 45 minutes, MCAS Futenma emergency personnel were able to extinguish the fire and successfully evacuate all casualties from the scene.
“Everyone out here did a great job. With this being my first base-wide drill with these units that I’ve never worked with before, it went very well,” said Nistler.
“When it comes to doing stuff like this,” says Joseph, “it puts you on your toes and brings back what you’ve been trained on.”