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    Mass casualty exercise

    Mass casualty exercise

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Shane Klestinski | Army Pfc. Sadullo Fayz provides medical care to Spc. Anthony Marshall during a mass...... read more read more

    Soldiers from tenant units deployed to Forward Operating Site (FOS) Powidz, Poland, participated in a mass casualty exercise on May 7, 2021.

    Ten “wounded” Soldiers, as well as an “active shooter” role player, were all part of the mass casualty (MASCAL) rehearsal led by the Pennsylvania Guard’s 108th Medical Company Area Support (MCAS).

    “I wanted this to be a crawl and a walk,” said Army 1st Sgt. Robert Klinger, first sergeant for the 108th MCAS. Klinger has dealt with real-life mass casualty events working as a volunteer firefighter and a police officer in Pennsylvania, having responded to traffic accidents involving up to 100 vehicles. “I wanted the medics to really focus on their interventions. Actually putting an IV or a chest tube into someone takes time, and I wanted them to understand how long they would be working on a patient.”

    MPs assigned to the 64th Military Police Company from Fort Hood, Texas, were the first to respond to the notional situation and performed first aid until the 108th MCAS arrived to transport the Soldiers for treatment.

    “Communication is always a tough part, especially when everything is going wild around you,” said Spc. Oscar Seaforth, a health care specialist assigned to the 108th MCAS.

    The 108th MCAS took over its mission and its new facility in late March. Adapting to the logistics of a new setting, and learning what it will and won’t allow, is an important part of providing care.

    “In a MASCAL event, the main focus is flow through the treatment facility,” Klinger said. “We need to be able to function, specifically in this building, with this configuration, and our MASCAL training event helped us identify how we’ll work here to provide more efficient treatment.”

    This rehearsal was the culmination of two weeks of preparation, as different sections within the 108th MCAS focused on drills specific to their roles in such a scenario. MASCAL rehearsals not only prepare medical personnel for active shooter events, but also for other emergencies like multi-vehicle car crashes or environmental accidents that can injure several people at once.

    Going forward, the 108th’s MASCAL training will add more moving parts, to include interoperability aspects with local NATO allies.

    “This first training event just involved our company and a few outside Soldiers as role players,” Klinger said. “The next ones will incorporate all the units on the FOS as well as the Polish army.”

    As the 108th MCAS speeds up to its “run” phase and its Soldiers gain both experience and confidence, they’ve started reflecting on individual lessons learned. These lessons represent the personal education a Soldier receives from well-planned, relevant training. These lessons go beyond the Army’s official, measurable performance objectives, and they aren’t usually found in training manuals.

    “In the heat of the moment, when everyone is working together, you’ve got to use the momentum from your team to boost yourself,” Seaworth said in describing his personal take-away from the exercise. “When it’s all going down and everything is crazy, you need to be able to lean on the person next to you, and they need to be able to lean on you. Harnessing that group energy from teamwork really does help.”




    Date Taken: 05.07.2021
    Date Posted: 05.18.2021 08:39
    Story ID: 396617
    Location: POWIDZ, PL 

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