NEWS | July 30, 2016

Rescuers train in small spaces

By Sgt. Heidi Kroll 172nd Public Affairs Detachment

The Massachusetts Search and Extraction Team, part of the New England National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP), rescued a simulated casualty from the bottom of the well during Vigilant Guard 2016 at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site, Jericho, Vt., July 30, 2016. The team was participating in a Vigilant Guard Exercise that provides an opportunity to improve cooperation and relationships with regional civilian, military, and federal partners in preparation for emergencies and catastrophic events.

Upon arriving the on scene the team, found a tripod that was located near the well and created a rope system to lower a Soldier down. Once he was able to assess simulated casualty and identify his injuries, a plan was put in place to hoist them both out to safety.

“I quickly started teaching the guys how to set up belays, having them set up the rope systems that we needed,” said U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Divincetis, machinist, 182nd Engineer Company (Sapper), Massachusetts National Guard.

Divincetis showed his team members how to tie the proper knots, and use pulleys to set up the rope system that they would be using to hoist the child from the well. The team also created the rappel system that was used to lower U.S. Army Spc. Stephen Mattucio, combat engineer, 101st Battalion Headquarters, Headquarters Company, Massachusetts National Guard, down the well.

“It’s definitely good training, we have learned a lot here, and we now know how to make the process faster and safer. I have rappelled before, it is nothing like going down a confined well to retrieve a child,” said Mattucio.

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman John Gasque, medic, 102nd Medical Group, Massachusetts National Guard, provided instruction to Spc. Mattucio while he evaluated the child. He then explained on how to stabilize the injuries, and what preparations would be needed to hoist Timmy out without causing further injuries.

“Incredibly realistic training, we used whatever we had with us to react to the situation, there are a million ways to do to things,” said Divincetis.

“Every training event that we can be involved in, the Massachusetts Search and Extraction team jumps on it. We were prepared to jump into this situation with less than what was provided; we were able to complete two missions successfully,” said U.S. Army Sergeant 1st Class Walter St. Dennis III, combat engineer, 182nd Engineer Company (Sapper), Massachusetts National Guard.

The Massachusetts Search and Extraction team are supporting Vermont in Vigilant Guard 2016 which is an exercise meant to test 9 states National Guard units, title ten forces, federal, local agencies. di