On Thursday, April 26, 2012 members of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department participated in a joint exercise with Andrews Air Force Base. The purpose of the exercise was to ensure that government agencies at every level are prepared to take coordinated action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the National Capital Region (NCR). This joint exercise was conducted by the 11th Air Wing, Joint Base Andrews to test and evaluate the Joint Service Open House (JSOH) Emergency Management Plan, Mass Casualty Response, National Incident Management System (NIMS) and ICS operations in a Unified Command structure.
The scenario for this exercise was a mid-air collision of two aircraft (FA-18 fighter jets) during an aerial demonstration at Andrews Air Force Base. One aircraft crashed on the base into a crowd of spectators watching the air show, while the second aircraft crashed off base in the Cheltenham area.
The Prince George’s County Fire / EMS Training Academy (FETA) was used as the crash site for the second aircraft. A training prop from the Patuxent Naval Air Station was used for the downed aircraft and the 27 members of Career Recruit Class #45 acted as the victims.
Members from Capitol Heights acted as the second due engine company to the Cheltenham crash site, utilizing Engine 853 (Special Events Engine). The crew consisted of Lt. William Lehew, Jr., FF/EMT William Lehew, Sr., FF/EMT Brian Graham and FF Tyrone Clary.
All 27 patients from the Cheltenham site, plus 100 patients from Andrews Air Force Base were transported to all thirteen (13) hospitals in Region 5 to test their mass casualty capabilities.
Chief James McClelland was an evaluator for firefighting operations.