Mobile trailers to help Navy first responders
NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan — Atsugi-based Navy emergency first responders will soon have two mobile emergency response trailers that can be towed to the scene of local incidents and allow workers to rapidly get to the business of saving lives and property.
In July, when a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Niigata prefecture, the joint U.S.-Japanese rescue team was forced to work from leaky tents to coordinate and respond to collapsed buildings, displaced families and a potential radiation hazard from a nearby nuclear power plant.
That won’t happen again, says Dave Puckett, Naval Air Facility Atsugi’s emergency management officer.
The first trailer is for what Puckett calls “C2,” which stands for command and control.
“It will have eight work stations to support a range of missions including fire, police, public works and medical response teams,” he said.
Outfitted with plasma display screens, multiple lines of communication and an independent power generator, the trailer is designed to arrive on station ready to streamline time it takes to get help where needed the most, Puckett said.
And with 14.8 million people living within an eight-mile radius of the Atsugi base, every second counts, he said.
The second trailer is set up to respond to medical and hazardous-material situations.
According to Lt. Saint Adeogba of Atsugi’s Branch Health Clinic, the multimission trailer can be configured to allow emergency care responders to provide care similar to that of a medical trauma unit.
The trailers mark a significant improvement in an incident commander’s ability to “respond, mitigate and recover from large-scale emergencies,” said Commander, Naval Forces Japan’s Atsugi District Fire Chief Bill Casey.
Puckett expects the base will be able to deploy the trailers as early as this spring and said that naval installations at Yokosuka, Sasebo and Okinawa are to each receive a set based on Atsugi’s design.