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    U.S. KFOR Soldiers train KSF in MEDEVAC procedures

    U.S. KFOR Soldiers train KSF in MEDEVAC procedures

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Tawny Schmit | Capt. Joseph Bell III, commander of Detachment 2, Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th...... read more read more

    FERIZAJ/UROSEVAC, Kosovo – U.S. aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, trained members of the Kosovo Security Force in aerial medical evacuation procedures April 14, 2021. The four-man crew from Camp Bondsteel landed a UH-60 Blackhawk at the KSF Training and Doctrine base in Ferizaj/Urosevac just as large snowflakes began to fall.

    As the wheels of the aircraft sank slightly into the damp grass, the pilot and the rest of the crew greeted the group of KSF troops eager to train. Fortunately, the snow didn’t last long, and they jumped right into instruction.

    “I was the crew chief and hoist operator,” said Sgt. Michael Cummings, a Blackhawk helicopter repairer with Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th General Support Aviation Battalion, Washington Army National Guard. “I instructed the KSF on how to be next to the helicopter safely, as well as the safety features within the aircraft.”

    Cummings and the rest of the crew trained the KSF troops on two primary medical evacuation methods. The first involved using a SKED rescue system to safely transport non-ambulatory patients, also known as a litter carry.

    As the KSF troops took turns carrying mock patients onto the aircraft in groups of four, Cummings showed them how to move the litter efficiently within the confines of the aircraft. Shortening the carrying handles on the SKED, for example, allowed a little extra space to place the patient in the cabin.

    Some key takeaways from the training were establishing common terminology through translators and conducting multiple repetitions so the procedures became second nature to the troops.

    In the event of an emergency which would require assistance from both KFOR and the KSF, such as a natural disaster, the two organizations will be better prepared to work together to respond quickly and efficiently as a result of the training.

    “Every time we work with the KSF, you can tell they’re very disciplined,” said Sgt. Joe Harris, a combat medic specialist with Company C, 1-168th GSAB. “I loved seeing how well they take direction and the improvement throughout the day.”

    Harris assisted Cummings with safety and litter carry instruction. He was also in charge of securing KSF troops onto a seated hoist, the second method of evacuation they trained on.

    Two volunteers sat on the yellow hoist seat and were instructed to hang on to each other. As the Blackhawk hovered overhead, Cummings lowered the cable and Harris secured it to the seat. This method of medical evacuation is helpful when an environment isn’t safe to land in.

    As the volunteers were lifted off of the ground, they smiled and gave a thumbs up.

    “My favorite part is seeing the faces of the KSF members doing their first hoist a hundred feet from the ground to the helicopter,” said Cummings. “The fear and joy mixed together is kind of cool to see.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.16.2021
    Date Posted: 04.16.2021 12:04
    Story ID: 394054
    Location: ZZ
    Hometown: LACEY, WA, US
    Hometown: PORT ORCHARD, WA, US

    Web Views: 295
    Downloads: 1

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