News: Joint Medical Training: Global Medic 2013
Story by Staff Sgt. Eric W. Jones
FORT MCCOY, Wis. - The C-130s come rolling in on the dirt runway stirring up a mini dust storm.
After the dust settles or blows away, the service members of the 901st Minimal Care Detachment unload and then reload mock patients, both mannequins and role players, as part of the 2013 Global Medic exercise.
Global Medic is a world-class joint collective training event that develops and tests a participating unit’s soldiers collective ability to exercise and evaluate their skills in a rigorous, realistic, joint training environment, which incorporates scenarios that employ the full range of medical functions and situations.
“We are part of a joint task force, with the Navy and the Air Force. The Army side of thing we are running our MCD, we are a holding area until the patients are able to be moved to higher levels of care,” said Spc. Cathy Mason, from 901st Minimal Care Detachment from Fairmont, W Va., a student studying to become a registered nurse at Waynesburg University, Waynesburg, Pa.
“When we get them from the CSH by ambulance or helicopter, they are stable we check their vitals, make sure all injuries are taken care of and check for anything critical while preparing them for transportation,” she said. Pronounced “cash” by the soldiers, CSH is short-hand for Combat Army Hospital.
Spc. Jennifer Mills, assigned to the 452nd Combat Support Hospital, said she created fake wounds and injuries on herself and others, an art called “moulage,” to make the casualties look more realistic.
Mills, who is an operating room technician in the Army Reserve and in her civilian job at Abbot Northwestern hospital in Minneapolis, said during her unit’s participation in the exercise regular they practice moulage on mannequins and live role player participating in the event as patients.
“We started in ‘Mannequin Ville,’ and then we were given an assignment to moulage ourselves as a patient for evacuation to FOB Young,” she said.
“We arrived by helicopter then they took me off it was like they had done it a hundred times,” she said. “Then, I was brought in and they checked my vitals and check my chart.”
Capt. Diane Holstrum, a nurse with the Army Reserve’s 4502 Combat Support Hospital, Fort Snelling, Minn., said, she was one of the soldiers moulaged to replace the mannequins as the treatment and transportation scenarios progressed.
“We swapped ourselves for the mannequins and then were loaded upon the helicopter, which was awesome, flew here to the Minimal Care Detachment where we are waiting to be loaded load up on to a C-17 or C-130, where the Air Force will take us for more definitive care,” she said.
The captain, who works as a registered nurse at hospitals in St. Paul, Minn., said the training was very close to real-life.
“Everything went just as well as I thought it was going to be,” she said.
“When I came off the helicopter they took my vital signs and read my chart and made sure I was stable, I am a patient that is unconscious and on a ventilator so we didn’t have a lot of interaction going on with my nurse,” she said.
“We also take turns being patients going out doing the role play which really helps the people on the other end,” she said.
“We can talk to them we can answer question unlike mannequins, they can’t so we’re a little better being patients, we can do more interaction with them if they ask a question we have an answer for them like do you have a headache or do you remember what happened you can’t ask a doll that,” the captain said.
The Air Force Reserve supported the Global Medic mission through the 440th Airlift Wing from Pope Air Field on Fort Bragg, N.C., and the 445th Airlift Wing, from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, providing air operations and C-130 and C-17 aircraft by flying the patents in and out throughout the exercise.
Navy Lt. Alexis Williams, assigned to Navy Reserve’s EMF-Dallas, said working with the other services as the different training situations was very rewarding.
“We are here working with the Army Nurses, receiving patients from the CSH via mannequins and live patients,” she said.
“This my first time doing this type of training with the Army and Air Force. It was pretty cool to see the helicopters come in and out, we take the courses online but to see them, walk in them, to see where and how the patients are loaded, online we’re are just reading,” she said.
“When the aircraft come in we give the Air Force nurses reports, so they can transport the patients to the next facility,” she said.
“To see how many patients the C-17s can hold and how the doors open and how they are loaded to see how many nurses work in there seeing the setup makes it easier to relate to and make sense of it all how it works verses taking online courses,” she said.
The Global Medic Exercise is operated combat medical facilities on Fort McCoy, Wis.’s five mock forward operating bases with more than 10,000 joint military reserve personnel participated from end of July until the first week in August for the annual exercise.
The exercise was controlled from the Exercise Operations Center on Fort McCoy, there the staff were managing and monitoring the exercise, adding interjections in to the exercise to see how the participants react.
“This exercise is a great training evolution to learn how to prepare to mobilize at any time,” Navy Cmdr. Pamela McLaughlin, who is a nurse and was a section leader for the exercise, in the EOC.
“Though some of us do this in the civilian world and when we drill we don’t get a chance so this gives us a chance to actually get boots on ground train to what we are going to do when we get mobilized,” she said.
“The Army give us the opportunity and the facility,” said the commander, assigned to the Navy Reserve’s Expeditionary Medical Facility, based in Dallas. The camps are the same “forward operating bases” used to train troops deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
As one of the interjects from the EOC the soldiers and service members of 1982nd Forward Surgical Team from Niagara Falls, N.Y., were required to move during the exercise from FOB Freedom, on short notice they had to move to FOB Young,
One of the exercise’s observer-trainers, Sgt. Catrice Hankerson, 7301st Medical Training Support Battalion, based at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., said her monitoring of the soldiers with the 1982nd FST, was typical of training through the exercise.
The 1982nd started the exercise at FOB Freedom, but on short notice they had to move to FOB Young, she said.
“The benefit of the training to be able to move quickly and send medical help to where they need it,” she said.
“You can’t pick up a CSH hospital and move it that quickly you will have surgical and ICU capability that you can pick up and move to where you need it,” the sergeant said. ICU refers to an intensive care unit.
Hankerson said the 1982nd came to Global Medic with typical challenges, too, as the unit reset after its 2011 deployment to Afghanistan and worked to rejoin the inventory of deployable units.
“This unit has mobilized before they lost half of their team after the mobilized, they might have a few new members so they get the teamwork together and to train the newer members,” she said.
“It would help if they had the full 20 soldiers, they are a couple short but they have done excellent,” she said.
The 1982nd was augmented with Naval Reserve Serves members from the EMF Great Lakes, Ill.
One of the other pillars to this type of exercise are the soldiers and other service members that support the training soldiers an example is the soldiers providing the medical support to those participating in the exercise.
Army Capt. Daniel Lopez, a nurse with Lubbock, Texas-based 4005th Combat Support Hospital, said with all movements and high-speed op-tempo, there were some actual injuries mixed into the notional ones.
“Our mission here to is to see patients that are ill or have injuries due to trauma, initially we screen patients to see if they need further evaluation and if they are in need of more advanced medical care we sent them to the Troop Medical Clinic,” he said. “We try to treat their symptoms and get them back to the mission.”
Date Posted:12.31.2013 17:43
Location:FORT MCCOY, WI, US
Hometown:DALLAS, TX, US
Hometown:FAIRMONT, WV, US
Hometown:FORT SNELLING, MN, US
Hometown:GREAT LAKES, IL, US
Hometown:LUBBOCK, TX, US
Hometown:NIAGARA FALLS, NY, US
Hometown:ST. PAUL, MN, US