Emergency Management: Whiteman's warning for danger

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Keenan Berry
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Tornadoes, bomb threats, aircraft mishaps-- no matter the situation, the Whiteman Emergency Management team is always ready to help alert base personnel.

The 509th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management team contributes to the Whiteman mission by handling any bomb threats, mishaps or any other emergencies that could endanger personnel.

"We try to convince the base populace to prepare for a disaster that they believe will never happen," said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Buhrman, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of emergency management logistics. "The part people know us for is the CBRN training that we provide to all personnel deploying or PCSing to medium or high-threat areas."

Emergency Management personnel are ready and able to respond to a wide array of incidents.

"We maintain the capability to respond to any hazard; this can range from CBRN agents to hazardous spills," said Buhrman. "Through our highly specialized training and equipment, we have to detect, identify, collect samples and provide guidance on hazard mitigation for almost any vulnerability we encounter."

Emergency management is separated into three sections: logistics, plans and operations, and training.

The logistics section is responsible for emergency management response equipment. The shop maintains numerous different types of hardware that can be used for different situations. For example, in the case of a potential chemical accident, emergency personnel go out and check certain metrics, while adhering to safety guidelines. Logistics ensures they have the necessary equipment to do so.

Logistics is also in charge of different pallets for deployments and is usually tasked with ensuring the mobile communication center functions properly.

The plans and operations section handles emergency management wing programs and ensures checklists response are ready to go. Every unit has a checklist called the Air Force Emergency Plan 10-2, which guides how the Air Force responds to terrorist attacks, plane crashes or any other type of disaster.

The training section is in charge of in-house training for the emergency management shop, and manages the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) classes for the base. The weekly in-house training covers topics such as equipment response procedures. CBRN training is provided to Airmen during permanent changes of station (PCS) or deployments.

"In the event of an aircraft mishap, the EM team will stand up the emergency operation center and send mobile communication center when it gets staged it has a video system so the emergency operation center can have a better site picture of what is taking place on-scene," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Bohl, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge of readiness and emergency management.

The incident commander is in charge of the scene and will often times operate out of the mobile unit, requesting additional help from ambulances, security forces, public affairs and other key units.

In case of a nuclear incident, the EM support team stands up a contamination control station to help survey any radioactive activity within the area and decontaminate any personnel who were within the affected area.

The emergency management support team helps supplement the contamination control efforts, and helps ensure that base populace is kept as safe as possible in the event of a crisis.

Keeping Whiteman alert and safe can be a difficult task, but with Emergency Management on watch, members of Team Whiteman can rest a little easier knowing they're being looked out for by the best of the best.