by Senior Airman Trevor Rhynes
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
4/23/2015 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Members
of the 22nd Medical Group, and units from across the U.S., participated
in Ultimate Caduceus 2015, giving them the opportunity to conduct
aeromedical evacuation training, April 16 - 18, at Naval Air Station
Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Louisiana Air National Guard hosted the exercise, which involved
evacuating more than 200 dummies, people and simulated patients via a
C-130 Super Hercules in the event of a hurricane.
"It was a hurricane evacuation exercise, so we practiced evacuating
patients from local hospitals to areas like Arkansas, Oklahoma and other
inland areas," said Tech. Sgt. Monique Roberts, 22nd MDG unit
deployment manager. "They were being brought from local hospitals and
were staged in a disaster area staging facility while they awaited
transportation from an aeromedical evacuation crew on a C-130. We staged
them, tracked all relevant information through our tracking database,
then brought them to safer locations."
Roberts left the training having seen exactly what happens after a request for transport is submitted.
"I haven't seen what happens after I build the request to move a patient
out of a disaster-stricken area," Roberts said. "I know how to request
getting someone evacuated, but now that I've been there, I know how the
mission to evacuate them gets put together."
For one member of the team of eight, it was his first experience performing his job at different location.
"It was the first time I had ever been (on a temporary duty) so it was a
really cool experience for me," said Senior Airman Justin Hilty, 22nd
Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace medical technician. "I get a lot
of training here, but I don't always get to put it into practice. I got
to use litter carrying experience and load someone into the back of a
C-130, which I had never done before."
In groups of 20, patients were dropped off in ambulances or busses, then
were processed through a tracking database and, when available, sent
off to a different location.
"My favorite part was being in the middle of everything," Hilty said.
"Having the busses drop off 20 patients at a time and having six to
eight people there, ready to help get the patient where they needed to
go. It felt good figuring everything out. It moved nicely."
Roberts said this exercise was very beneficial and that it will help set up additional training exercise in May.
"It was good to see this exercise because next month we'll be
participating in training where we'll be receiving patients that were
evacuated out of an area," Roberts said. "It was interesting to see what
happens on the front end of an evacuation since we'll be doing the back
end work soon."