Medics train to be deployment ready


SOF Support
Apr 24, 2009

Medics train to be deployment ready

Posted 9/22/2010 Updated 9/22/2010

by Staff Sgt. Sarah Martinez
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

9/22/2010 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- As gunshot smoke, moans and groans filled the air, a team of two Independent Duty Medical Technicians, one physician assistant and one pararescueman ran to the rescue of nine patients played mostly by 6th Special Operations Squadron members at a training exercise conducted at the Eglin Range, Sept. 14.

IDMTs, PAs and PJs are all self-sufficient when it comes to delivering emergency medical care in humanitarian or combat environments. Medical field training is paramount to independent medical personnel because their mission puts them in positions where they may be the only medical support.

"Every time we get ready to for a deployment, we like to get together and run these medical scenarios," said Master Sgt. Ali Rivers, IDMT. "We have to be ready at all times and prepare for the worst."

The scenario simulated an aircraft crash with multiple survivors. The scene consisted of patients hidden in the woods waiting for someone to come to their aid. All the patients had different injuries which required various levels of care.

"We were trying to get into the role of something that could happen in theater," Sergeant Rivers said.

As soon as the medics arrived on the scene, they immediately started searching for the victims in the woods. They all fanned out into different sections in order to cover more space. The medics then gathered the survivors in one central location.

Then the medics started working through the different injury scenarios associated with the patients. They all communicated and acted as a team in order to save the patients' lives.

"We brought them to the casualty collection point and started interventions on them so the patients wouldn't expire," Sergeant Rivers said.

The medics worked on a variety of injuries from a badly burned individual to internal hemorrhaging of a victim's head. They started IVs as part of fluid resuscitation and needle decompression to relieve pressure in a patient's chest.

"I was found pretty quickly, with a broken leg and (the medics) helped me walk," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Lilienthal, 6th SOS maintainer.

Even though Sergeant Lilienthal played a patient he still monitored and observed the medics' actions, all while preparing himself for similar situations when he deploys downrange.

"Because we're not actively participating we can see what's going on and hop in on the debrief with them," Sergeant Lilienthal said.

After they treated the patients, the IDMT's transferred each patient by helicopter to another location. There the patients were loaded onto a larger aircraft where another medical team stood by to give them further medical treatment.

The training exercise came to an end as the last patient was loaded and the plane slowly faded into the distance. The medics looked exhausted and sweaty as they walked back to a convoy of vehicles ready to take them back to base.

"I think the training (was) excellent, we had a good team, we were ready to go and we got a lot of good training in," Sergeant Rivers said.