Local, 104FW Emergency Response personnel collaborate to ensure community safety during WIAS 2023

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Camille Lienau
  • 104th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Local and wing emergency services personnel joined forces to keep Barnstormers and guests of the Westfield International Air Show safe during the air show and open house weekend held May 13-14, 2023 at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts.

During the airshow, Barnestormer firefighters and medics, local fire departments and emergency medical technicians, and local doctors worked together to establish an emergency and medical response plan and provide on-demand care to air show attendees.

“The air show is a great way for us to give back to the community and show people who we are, what we do, and that they are a part of us,” said Lt. Col. Tighe Richardson, chief of aerospace medicine with the 104th Medical Group. 

The overall mission during the air show was two-fold, Richardson said.

They worked together with other emergency response agencies to support and take care of any injuries or incidents involving patrons attending the air show. The response personnel were also on standby to response to any in-flight emergencies with base and local fire departments.

“Local ER physicians, physician assistants and paramedics from the community donated their time and assistance to help,” Richardson said.

Matthew Cauchon, an emergency room doctor at Trinity Health of New England --Mercy Campus worked with Richardson and Maj. Patrick Lafond, physician assistant with the 104th Medical Group, to oversee the air show medical emergency response.

“During an event of this scale, there are a lot of moving parts, but it is beautiful how it comes together," said Cauchon. “We had sick patients coming in and all of a sudden there are people from the military, surgeons, physician assistants, paramedics, and civilians working together. It is very rewarding work.”