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    Medics Train for Worst-Case Scenario

    Medics Train for Worst-Case Scenario

    Photo By Sgt. Matthew Wright | Medics simulate loosening clothes on a volunteer “patient” during a mass casualty...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Matthew Wright 

    40th Combat Aviation Brigade

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Vehicles pulled up and soldiers poured out of the Troop Medical Clinic here. The soldiers carried stretchers, medical bags and bright orange cases containing oxygen tanks to a group of simulated casualties who were bloodied and screaming.

    The “casualties” were put on the stretchers and moved with urgency to the foyer outside the clinic.

    This was a mass casualty exercise, yet the medics who represented the 40th Combat Air Brigade performed their mission as if it were real. Using the foyer as a triage area, they lined up the simulated casualties by injury severity.

    During the exercise in March, they treated those that could be taken care of on the spot and then moved more seriously injured patients into the treatment centers for the surgeons and the physician assistants to work on. Once stabilized, victims that needed surgery and more in-depth treatment were lined up to be airlifted by medical evacuation helicopters.

    This was not the only mass casualty exercise for this crew at the Taji Troop Medical Clinic. There was a “mascal” exercise the month prior.

    These exercises gave the medics on Camp Taji a chance to test their performance and their ability to work in sync at their highest levels and as a cohesive unit in one of the most critical aspects of their jobs.

    Sgt. Christian Lopez from the 640th Aviation Support Battalion’s headquarters company said having multiple exercises helps improve staff cohesion. “I learned that we are a very good team,” Lopez said. “We progressed a lot from the first exercise that we did,” he added. “Today we did a lot better.”

    In preparation for a real world event, each medical soldier has a specific task, which enables the team to accommodate a large number of patients at once.

    Capt. Blair Heath, the officer in charge of the Taji TMC, said, “This is a new unit that came in, so we tasked them with specific jobs that they would do in this situation. …They know what to do and where to go.”

    Preparation for a mass casualty event takes a lot of teamwork and communication so that medical personnel understand their roles in that event, he explained. Their skills are also very important to the stabilization of the casualties.

    Afterward, the staff critiqued its performance to see what was done right and what could be improved. The medics overall said they were pleased with how they responded, how they worked together to improve their performance from their previous exercise, and that the lessons learned will be applied to their next event.



    Date Taken: 03.02.2011
    Date Posted: 04.01.2011 09:17
    Story ID: 68092
    Location: CAMP TAJI, IQ 

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