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    Treating Covid-19 Patients at Fort McCoy

    Treating Covid-19 Patients at Fort McCoy

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Gregory Smith | Spc. Connor Pitkin, a combat medic specialist with the 329th Medical Company (Ground...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Gregory Smith 

    200th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- On the sunny, humid grounds of Fort McCoy Wis., Soldiers from the 329th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance), Fairview, Pa., buzz around from location-to-location lending medical support to several units conducting training and participating in a mobilization exercise as part of their extended combat training from June 23 to Aug. 5, 2021.

    The 329th MC’s (GA) overall mission is to cover units going to the ranges, conducting the Army Combat Fitness Test, assisting base ambulance service with medical coverage, and supporting any additional medical missions requested.

    This is the first time the unit has taken part in a MOBEX, and they immediately flexed their knowledge and expertise by exceeding any standards their leadership placed in front of them.

    What sets this extended combat training apart from others they have done, is that they are conducting COVID-19 tests and rendering aid to service members who have tested positive for COVID-19.

    “The amount of dedication and learning they’ve had to do to prepare themselves for this mission is phenomenal,” said 1st Lt. Philip Crane, the acting commander of the 329th MC (GA). “They knew it was going to be tight with the amount of manpower to man this mission, but they knew that each of them had to be multi-functional for this mission to be successful.”

    The 329th MC (GA) has been preparing for this type of mission since last year when they were put on standby to be deployed for a COVID-19 response. Since then, they have refreshed their knowledge on COVID-19 and practiced additional skills to be better providers to their patients.

    “All the medics have received refresher and additional training for COVID response,” said 1st Sgt. Anthony Shrader, the first sergeant of the 329th MC (GA). “They covered everything from vaccine administration to reviewing patients’ assessments, getting educated on how to perform the BinaxNOW testing, and constantly running sticks lanes to get the medics comfortable again.”

    The test administered by 329th MC (GA) to service members at Fort McCoy is the BinaxNOW rapid test, which is given to service members who are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The test is also administered to those who have not been vaccinated or completed their series of vaccinations. Service Members who have not received or completed their vaccinations series are then tested every three days to ensure they have not contracted the virus.

    “You have to go in 1-inch and swab each nostril five times and you put it in a little test kit and it’s about the size of a lollipop,” said Crane. “You then wait 15 minutes to see the results after we swab them, and it will indicate if they are positive or negative.”

    If Service Members are confirmed to be positive on the rapid test, they are then given a Polymerase chain reaction test to ensure that they are positive. Once confirmed, they are sent to the quarantine or isolation barracks to get better while medics render care and aid.

    “We provide all the essential care, such as food, laundry services, medical assessments, taking vital signs, and medication deliveries for those who have been placed into either the quarantine or isolation barracks,” said Shrader.

    To date, they have administered more than 700 BinaxNOW tests with the expectation of reaching over 1,000 by the end of the mission. Additionally, 47 Service Members have also been cared for in the quarantine and isolation barracks with 25 Service Members currently being seen.

    With another 22 days to go, Soldiers completing the MOBEX can rest assured that if they need any medical attention while at Fort McCoy, they will receive the best medical care the Army can provide.

    The performance of our Soldiers is outstanding, said Shrader. “I’d put our ambulance company against any other ambulance company.”



    Date Taken: 07.14.2021
    Date Posted: 07.14.2021 21:07
    Story ID: 400930

    Web Views: 398
    Downloads: 0