MCAS Cherry Point holds mass casualty exercise

CHERRY POINT, N.C. (WITN) – Preparing for the worst is not always easy, but it could help save lives. That’s why Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point conducted a mass casualty exercise in preparation for the air show next month.

Thousands of people will flock to Cherry Point soon for their highly anticipated air show. With the safety of both aviators and the community in mind, Cherry Point put their emergency responses to the test.

“When we have airshows, in the unlikely event that a mishap occurs, we always practice on the worst case scenario to make sure we’re prepared and can fully respond and mitigate any kind of mishaps,” MCAS Cherry Point Fire Department Chief Josh Boudreau said.

To be prepared for that worst-case scenario, the Marine Corps Air Station did a mass casualty simulation Tuesday.

Multiple emergency services responded to a simulated aircraft fire and mass casualty situation on the airfield.

“So the first step for us is we’re going to roll up on scene,” Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting Warrant Officer Compton said. “Do a scene size up, see what we’re working with, and we’re gonna relay that to all the marines that are going to be at the scene.”

Marines and first responders focused on multiple aspects like extraction, decontamination with hazmat teams, triage treatment, and transportation of people who were injured.

Boudreau said during the show, they’re also ready for any medical events that attendees may have.

“We’re trying to make sure we have enough ambulances that can treat normal medical events that might occur during that,” Boudreau said. “Trips and falls, any kind of medical emergency.”

This exercise helped to further demonstrate management and coordination capabilities among air station departments and others like ECU Health and Naval Health Clinic.

Although this is just practice, they are now prepared for anything as people come out to enjoy the show.

“We’re gonna be ready,” Compton said. “We will be ready to respond. Make sure everyone is safe.”

According to Boudreau, more than 150,000 people are expected to attend the Cherry Point Airshow. The show is from May 11 through May 12.