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    Aviators, medical teams practice life-saving drills



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Luisito Brooks 

    18th Medical Command (Deployment Support)

    Fort Shafter — Maj. Justin Spears and his aid and litter team heard the thunder from the approaching Black Hawk before they saw it.
    “When I heard that bird approaching, I started to have flashbacks from my last deployment,” said Spears, a chief nurse of the advanced life support team. “We all felt this sense of reality because we know this training will save somebody’s life one day.”
    Soldiers from the 8th Forward Surgical Team (FST), 18th Medical Command (Deployment Support), trained with Soldiers assigned to Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, during a medical training exercise at Schofield Barracks.
    Spears, a medical officer assigned to the 8th FST, said training on medical operations with aviation units is crucial to be ready in a deployment environment.
    “Our mission is to be able to set up a field hospital within 90 minutes to receive patients and provide them with emergency medical services or perform far forward surgery anywhere in the world,” said Spears. “Not too many people know how important communication is between medical and aviation, but we know just how important this mission is in saving someone’s life.”
    He explained that his unit’s purpose in a deployment environment is to provide medical treatment to personnel wounded in combat who can’t survive the full trip to a combat support hospital.
    “We must work tightly with the aircraft crew,” said Spears. “Everything has to be smooth to give the patients the best chances of pulling through.”
    Sgt. Joseph Jordan, the C Co., 3-25th Avn. Regt., 25th ID CAB flight medic, immediately approached the 8th FST aid and litter teams when the aircraft touched down.
    “We have to follow the instructions of the flight medic because they are the bridge between the pilot, the patients and us,” said Spears. “The flight medic did a great job working together with us.”
    The simulated injured patients were transported to a cluster of green tents full of other medical personnel that would provide life-saving treatment.
    “We had a lot of people in the tents because we had most of our unit, and we had observer controllers, from Tripler (Army) Medical hospital and the 18th MEDCOM,” explained Spears. “The job of an OC is to evaluate us on how we performed during the exercise.”

    Staff Sgt. Gloria Najera, the operating room technician, said communication is essential.
    “Communication is key to this high uptempo environment. We can’t be afraid to be very direct with anyone in the tent because lives are on the line,” said Najera. “We can’t take things personally when people are yelling at you and around you because the most important thing is stabilizing the patients so they can make the trip to the next phase in their treatment. It can be a very intense place because everyone is under pressure and stress.”
    The first tent patients go to is the Advanced Trauma Life-saving team. In this area, the patients are evaluated to determine the level of care needed.
    From the ATLS, they are transferred to either the operating room or the intensive care unit.
    After the patients have been moved, they are prepared for transport to the waiting Black Hawk.
    The simulated patients were stabilized and loaded on the aircraft.
    “Everyone performed outstandingly during the event from the flight crew to the Soldiers on the grown,” said Spears. “We know how to improve our care to give the patient the highest chance to survive if and when we are needed.”



    Date Taken: 02.10.2018
    Date Posted: 12.31.2018 16:36
    Story ID: 305867
    Location: HONOLULU, HI, US 

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    Aviators, medical teams practice life-saving drills