Brewster holds open house for parents in preparation for Exercise Urgent Response

6 Oct 2016 | Cpl. Mark Watola Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Base personnel, school staff and families gathered for an open house to discuss Exercise Urgent Response at Brewster Middle School, Sept. 29.

During the open house families were able to meet teachers and other staff, but the event focused on preparing families and students for the upcoming exercise.

"We want everyone informed," said Dana Sutherland, Brewster Middle School assistant principal. "We don’t want to send a panic out in the community. The teachers have talked to (students) about practicing lockdowns and their importance."

Exercise Urgent Response is held annually to prepare base first responders for emergency situations. The 2016 exercise will simulate an active shooter drill.

First responders such as the Provost Marshals Office, Fire Safety Division, Emergency Medical Technicians, Explosive Ordinance Disposal and the Special Reaction Team will demonstrate their interoperability.

"The exercise will have active shooters, a mass casualty drill and involve the Special Reaction Team and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines," said Joseph Hanks, exercise coordinator. "There are very few times where we work as a group. We will be one unified command."

Active shooters are a current threat to the U.S., said 1st Lt. Eric Quintero, civilian police officer.

"You’re going to react the way you train," said Quintero. "If the base, students and teachers have exposure to the exercise, it gets them familiar with the muscle movements that go on should the event actually happen. We want them prepared and it makes for a safer environment."