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By Franklin Fisher, Stars and Stripes

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — If a plane crashed or terrorist bombs exploded at Camp Humphreys, key officials would respond with the same methods, lingo and paperwork used across the National Incident Management System.

Humphreys garrison recently trained 25 of its senior officials in Federal Emergency Management Agency methods for handling everything from plane crashes to typhoons to mass-casualty emergencies.

The post is being tripled in size to eventually become the U.S. military’s flagship installation in South Korea and home to the bulk of U.S. forces in the country.

Humphreys officials will make the training the foundation for even more comprehensive 2008 emergency response plans, said Kevin Griess, head of the garrison’s Emergency Services.

And they’ll practice those methods in future antiterrorist exercises conducted at the garrison, he said.

The training was held in a series of three-day classes from October into early December. Officials are now certified “incident commanders” trained in FEMA’s Incident Command System 300, Griess said.

Griess said they were taught ways to save lives, prevent catastrophes from spreading, and then recover from them.

Those trained included garrison commander Col. John E. Dumoulin Jr. and directorate heads who might have to take charge of any emergency within their operational fields, among them the fire and police departments, safety office and emergency services.

The ICS methods are built around uniformity — giving all incident managers the same terminology, forms, and procedures to use, regardless of the incident. That’s a big help when different agencies work together, said Griess.

“It maximizes interoperability between agencies,” Griess said. “Everything is standardized; everything is set.”

And while specific methods may vary with types of incidents being managed, basic steps will be the same.

“If you’re just a family member hanging out on base, you can rest assured that when that siren goes off that competent, trained professionals are on their way and that when they get there they’re going to know what they’re doing and how to get it done,” Griess said.


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