Always on mission, ready to help

      The sound of water splashing off of plastic. It takes me back to those long summer days, when I was a kid running around with my sisters – the sound reminds me of the lawn sprinkler back-splashing off the house siding. Laughter is everywhere as we taunt and tease each other over who has to run through the water streams next.

This time, the sound isn’t as fun however. The water is splashing off of people, hitting the tent behind them – but there isn’t any laughter or giggling in the background. Everyone is serious – here to get their job done. Here to ensure they are prepared to save the citizens of Wisconsin – should they be called up during a natural or man-made disaster.

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Welcome to the CERFP. CERFP stands for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package. It’s a tongue twister, but gives those involved a wide-variety of skill sets so they can help anyone who needs it.

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The CERFP is made up of various components – each plays a role during an emergency. Say for example a terrorist attack left citizens crushed in rubble, loaded with mustard gas. If called up, Airmen and Soldiers would work together to locate those victims, bring them to safety, decontaminate them if chemicals were used, and provide the necessary medical care as quickly as possible – ensuring as many people as possible were triaged and returned safely to their loved ones.

It’s an extremely important job – and the National Guard Airmen and Soldiers do it well.

These photos are from an exercise they recently participated in May 1-2. They will be evaluated again this June, ensuring the safety of everyone out there is a number one priority. Rest assured, if anything happens unexpectedly – the Wisconsin National Guard is always on mission, ready to help.

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About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.