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Navy, Annapolis First Responders, and Emergency Medical Centers Conduct Mass Casualty Drill

17 February 2023

From MC2 Griffin Kersting

Naval Support Activity Annapolis (NSAA), local law enforcement, and local emergency medical centers conducted a security response drill at Naval Health Center Annapolis, as part of the Citadel Shield/Solid Curtain (CS/SC) 2023 exercise Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023.
The annual exercise involved an active shooter and multiple role players with injuries. The exercise trained security personnel on neutralizing a threat and then shifted focus to stabilizing casualties and transferring them to a medical facility for treatment.

"Training with our civilian counterparts not only strengthens our relationships but makes the scenario more realistic," said Capt. Homer Denius, commanding officer of NSA Annapolis. "The scenario ran from the initial incident all the way through casualty stabilization. We could never do that on our own, and are thrilled with the broad participation from the local law enforcement and medical facilities."

The drill also focused on mass casualty procedures, with first responders treating as many casualties as possible on the scene and then helicopter evacuations going to Baltimore Washington Medical Center and Anne Arundel Medical Center. For this exercise, Maryland State Police and National Park Police provided medical evacuation helicopters.

"These drills are so important as they strengthen our existing relationships with response agencies and ensure we are all well-equipped and prepared to provide safe, high-quality care during a real emergency," said Diane Croghan, Vice President of Community Outreach and Chief of Staff at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center. "Our role as a hospital in any disaster is to respond quickly and rely on our connections with local partners to get needed resources to our community. Collaboration is at the center of all that we do. We are grateful to the NSA Annapolis and the many other agencies that organized and participated in this drill with us today."
Medical centers responded to a full scope of injuries, from scrapes and bruises to open head wounds. The drill also flexed transportation methods with emergency vehicles and helicopter personnel treating casualties on board while en route for additional care.

"While we regularly test and evaluate the hospital's emergency response and activation procedures, this drill allowed us to prepare on a much larger scale with our partners from the Navy, first responders, and other emergency personnel," said Steve Campbell, vice president of marketing and communications at Luminis Health. "Since seconds save lives in a real-life emergency, these community-wide drills are important to ensure we are all ready to respond appropriately during a mass casualty event."

These drills are designed to test the readiness and capabilities of Naval Security Forces first responders and other NSA Annapolis personnel in an emergency. How quickly and effectively they can respond to the threat is crucial for saving lives, and it also provides experience working alongside local civilian first responders.

"In addition to being our state capital, the City of Annapolis is home to numerous local, state, and federal agencies," said Kevin Simmons, Director of the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management. "This makes these seven square miles of great strategic importance. Practice and preparation are essential for maintaining operations readiness to protect better and serve all who live, work, and play in Annapolis. We are happy to have this opportunity to further strengthen the bond with our Navy partners."

All Navy installations within the continental United States participate in the annual two-week anti-terrorism and force protection (ATFP) exercise. Citadel Shield takes place the first week and is run by Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC). The second week, Solid Curtain, is run by Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC). During CS/SC, Navy security forces undergo realistic scenarios intended to help maintain a high level of readiness.

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