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    Anytime, anywhere mantra of aeromedical evacuation team

    Anytime, anywhere mantra of aeromedical evacuation team

    Courtesy Photo | Airman 1st Class Bryce Bishop, 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Combined Joint Task Force - 82 PAO

    By Air Force Staff Sgt. Craig Seals
    455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Being an aeromedical evacuation team means bringing the hospital to the wounded. Missions come up at all times of the day with only a moments notice and someone needs to always be ready.

    The 455th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight has four, three-person teams consisting of a nurse and two medical technicians on alert at any given time.

    Prior to being put on alert status, an AE team is given 12 hours of crew rest. Once those 12 hours are up, their alert status begins for the next 48 hours.

    "[When] we are alerted, we have an hour to respond. Sometimes, if the mission is urgent, we have 15 minutes to be ready," said Air Force Capt. Michelle Mulberry, 455th EAEF flight nurse.
    Once alerted, the team loads the aircraft with the necessary equipment for its mission. That mission could take them anywhere in Afghanistan.

    "We're staged out of Bagram, but we fly all over Afghanistan and sometimes into Kyrgyzstan as well," said Mulberry. "We will go wherever they need us, really."

    Upon arriving at their destination, the AE team is met by an ambulance carrying either ambulatory, litter patients or sometimes both.

    "Ambulatory patients are ones who need our care, but can pretty much move on their own," said Air Force Master Sgt. Theresa Sheheen, 455th EAEF medical technician. "Litter patients need to be carried and secured on the aircraft."

    Once all patients have been secured on the aircraft and the AE team ensures the patients are as comfortable as they can be, it's time to keep moving.

    "At times, the missions make me feel very emotionally vulnerable. It's difficult to see some of the injuries and imagine how they will change that patient's life," said Sheheen. "On the flip side, it is very rewarding to know I am doing something, no matter how small, to make that patient a little more comfortable."

    Upon arriving, the aircraft is met by an ambulance and medical personnel from the Craig Joint Theater Hospital who take over the patient's medical care.

    After the patients are transferred off the aircraft, the medical equipment is unloaded and the team heads back to the AE shop. Paperwork is completed, crews are debriefed and some have a chance to reflect on their day's accomplishments.

    "This job is the most rewarding job I have ever done," said Mulberry. "I work in an ER at home and nothing compares to what we do here. I feel like we are such a small part of a big war, and the least I can do is help the wounded get one step closer to home."

    Another mission complete, another 12 hours of crew rest, another 48 hours of alert — just another day.



    Date Taken: 06.25.2007
    Date Posted: 06.25.2007 09:37
    Story ID: 10945
    Location: BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF 

    Web Views: 509
    Downloads: 467