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Into the Danger Zone: MCAS Miramar ARFF Conducts Hazmat Exercise

According to Master Sgt. Marcos Martinez, the staff noncommissioned officer for ARFF, this exercise was important because it allowed cooperating units to improve response times, validate standard operating procedures and achieve annual training requirements. “During the exercise, we took samples from all of the dry filter units and they came back positive for Tularemia,” said Lance Cpl. Luis Da Luz, a hazardous material entry team technician with ARFF. “It is important that we know how to respond to incidents like this because we are very close to the San Diego population.” Marines with ARFF’s HAZMAT response team collected samples from the dry filter units and soil samples in the affected area before sending them to a lab where they tested positive for Tularemia, a disease often used in bioterrorism attacks as it affects animals and humans. This exercise gave Marines and first responders a chance to rehearse and evaluate their incident command protocols, first responder immediate actions, communication protocols, incident command interface with an emergency operations center and orchestrate cooperation between MCAS Miramar’s first responders.  

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