Fort Polk Guardian 07-26-2019

Guardian July 26, 2019 NewScope Pavement marking Pavement marking on Fourth Street from Georgia to Mississippi avenues, and on Mississippi Avenue from Third Street to Louisiana Avenue is ongoing. Motorists should expect possible closures, detours, delays and flagging operations. Please ex- ercise caution and obey the instructions of onsite crews. DFAC closure The Patriot Inn Dining Facility is closed Wednesday through Aug. 4. It will reopen Aug. 5 at 7:30 a.m. During the closure, the Guardian Inn, bldg 2382, will operate as the post dining facility, serving scheduled meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner from Wednesday through Aug. 2, and brunch and supper meals Aug. 3-4. Special Ops brief A Special Operations briefing is held Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Fort Polk Edu- cation Center, Colorado Avenue, room 101. There will also be an Army Physical Fit- ness Test July 30 at 7 a.m. on Honor Field. For more information call Staff Sgt. Renal- do Eugene at (706) 464-6154. Benefits briefing A Social Security Benefits briefing is scheduled Aug. 19 from 9-10:30 a.m. at Bayou Theater, 7830 Mississippi Ave. A So- cial Security Administration employee will discuss program benefits, disability, bene- fits calculations, eligibility, Medicare and special veterans benefits. Call 531-1799 for more information. Organization day Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital holds its annual organization day today. Clinics, pharmacy, lab and radiology will close at 11 a.m. The emergency room and inpatient services remain open. The dining facility will open for breakfast only from 6:30-9 a.m. If entering BJACH after 11 a.m., use Entrance A. GI Bill extension The Office of the Undersecretary of De- fense has issued an extension to the dead- line date on the limits of transferability of education benefits for service members with greater than 16 years of service until Jan. 12. Official guidance from Human Re- source Command is pending and will be distributed when received. Should Soldiers have questions, they can contact their re- tention officer. Briefs /3 FORT POLK, La. — “Exercise, exercise, exer- cise: Active shooter reported at North Polk Ele- mentary School” blasted over the radios July 18, alerting members of Fort Polk’s Directorate of Emergency Services that it was go time. Military police, investigators, firemen and emergency medical technicians reported they were en route. The first responders to the scene were two mil- itary police patrolmen. They found several casu- alties scattered along the corridors of the school as they began their search for the shooter. Neu- tralizing the threat was their first priority, so they had to ignore the many cries for help, the screams of pain and fear reverberating through the brightly colored halls of the elementary school. The exercise was not only a test of procedures and standards — it was a reminder of why these incidents are called “tragedies,” and that hard choices have to be made when your duty is to protect and serve. So they stepped over the wounded, assuring those that were conscious that help was coming, and continued their search for the shooter. Once they found him, the patrol- men handcuffed him and began moving the wounded outside. As with any exercise, refinement is often need- ed to create a deeper understanding of the task at hand. This exercise was reset after the initial re- sponse, and once everyone was back at their starting positions, the call went out over the ra- dios again. “We reset the exercise because law enforce- ment was not working correctly with the fire de- partment and emergency medical services,” said Fort Polk DES Chief of Police Bobby Lungrin, who has been in law enforcement for 35 years. Lungrin was an exercise evaluator for the event. He said conducting training with fire and EMS personnel was essential for an effective response. “The patrols were moving casualties outside before any medical teams were there to treat them. Law enforcement officers are not subject matter experts on casualty management and con- trol — that’s for the fire and EMS guys to handle. Also, the patrols didn’t park their vehicles cor- rectly. They made it nearly impossible to start evacuating the casualties,” he said. “We decided to stop and reset. Missing the mark on these two basic points illustrates why we have to do peri- odic training and rehearsal.” Deputy Fire Chief Craig Wilgus, a former in- stallation evaluator for Installation Management Command, also served as an evaluator. “We practice a lot and know our roles, but (these exercises help us) refine those practices to turn us into an effective unit — fire and police of- ficers working together — for the betterment of the team,” he said After the reset, interagency communication and response were improved. The patrolmen first neutralized the shooter, communicated with incident command that it was now safe for med- ical teams to enter, then began moving people to one location inside the building. “Once they placed all the victims in one hall- way, we came up with a grab and go procedure: Send the triage (team) in, then the rescue teams Active shooter exercise sharpens DES response By JEAN DUBIEL Guardian staff writer JEAN DUBIEL / GUARDIAN The first two responders on the scene begin sweeping the school for the active shooter during an exercise held July 18 at North Polk Elementary School. Please see DES , page 5