NAS Meridian, Miss It was certainly an active scene on board NAS Meridian as they ran a full scale disaster drill. Haz mat, fire and rescue, and paramedics were all on hand for this drill. The drill scenario was a tornado hitting a building and partially collapsing it, with 16 people still inside. The 16 volunteers who played victims all had various injuries ranging from minor to critical. The rainy conditions helped add to the realism of the event.
The executive officer of NAS Meridian, Robert Michael, says, "We originally coordinated with the air wing to stop flying so we could bring the firefighters that would normally be on the runways out. But because of the weather they weren't flying, and the trucks were already in the station, but we did bring all the firefighters. So I had more than the normal out here. It was full response; we pretty much emptied the station."
Fire and rescue conducted a full sweep of the building which had no air, no power, and was partially filled with smoke. With all of these factors in play, navigating through the building even after they turned the lights back on was difficult. Overall, Michael was pleased with how the exercise went.
Michael went onto say, "Things are going pretty well here this morning at this building with the rescue. Things are still progressing a little slowly at other locations, and I’m going to check in on that a little bit later. Overall what I’ve seen so far here, and I’m going to check on medical when I leave, the response has been pretty good."
Coastal bases in Biloxi and Pensacola also ran similar drills Friday involving land-falling hurricanes.