News: Ohio airman excels during search and rescue mission at Vibrant Response 13
Story by Sgt. Terence Ewings
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Ohio National Guardsmen from Tarlton, demonstrated their ability to assess, treat and evacuate role-players, acting as survivors of a nuclear-blast attack, during a Vibrant Response 13 training exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., July 26.
Service members assigned to the 811th Engineer Company displayed fast and efficient lifesaving skills during the search and evacuation exercise.
“It means the world to me to be able to do my job effectively and possibly save a life,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. Codylynn Gomez, a combat medic assigned to the 811th Engineer Company.
Originally assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing Air National Guard located in Swanton, Ohio, Gomez is currently assisting the 811th as one of two Air Force combat medics within the engineer company.
“I love the military,” said Gomez, a native of Toledo, Ohio. “I was so excited when I was offered the opportunity to volunteer and serve with another (military) branch on this mission.”
As part of Joint Task Force Civil Support, Gomez and the other 811th service members stand ready to deploy in country, conducting search and evacuation operations in support of the Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Force (DCRF) mission.
During the search and evacuation training venue, the 811th was tasked with treating and evacuating the “survivors” from a collapsed building and surrounding neighborhood.
As first responders on the scene, the national guardsmen tactically surveyed the scene and proficiently evacuated the personnel so they could be treated in a safe and contaminate-free location.
Being one of the only combat medics on the scene, Gomez assisted her fellow “battle buddies” in applying field care, and treating the wounded survivors before and after the medical evacuation.
“Honestly, I crave the opportunity to train and participate in these exercises,” said Gomez, who is also working to attain her civilian nursing school certification. “It only helps in making me better at what I do.”
Throughout the next week of training, approximately 5,000 service members and civilians will participate in the exercise, which is designed to conduct lifesaving and life-sustaining missions, provide logistics support to a theater of operations and perform technical CBRN consequence management tasks and civil support plans.
“It’s a pleasure to have the (Air Force) combat medics as part of our team,” said 2nd Lt. Chris Brandt, the officer in charge of the 811th search and evacuation team. “As a team, we work very well together and know what we need to do, so we go out and execute; we help save lives.”
After completing this Vibrant Response exercise with the rest of her unit, Gomez plans on continuing her civilian education and working with her fellow service members to complete future training events.
The 811th Engineer Company Ohio National Guard unit participates in monthly training exercises and the annual Vibrant Response events to maintain their lifesaving skills and unit readiness.
Throughout the next week, the 811th Engineer Company will continue to support JTF-CS while conducting the Vibrant Response exercise.