Military News

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Help is on the way

by Senior Airman Stephanie Morris
Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs

4/21/2015 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Though Minot Air Force Base doesn't have a full hospital, its residents have no reason to fear that they won't receive timely assistance in the event of an emergency.

The personnel of the 5th Medical Group ambulance services section are on call 24/7, 365 days a year ready to respond to calls for medical aid and transport their patients quickly and safely downtown if needed.

"We respond to a host of different medical calls, from sprained ankles to unconscious patients," said Tech. Sgt. Jesseka King, 5th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of ambulance services. "We do as much as we can within our capabilities and if additional care or testing is needed, we will transport the patient to Trinity's emergency room downtown."

Though the sections call volume can vary significantly from day to day, ambulance services has responded to approximately 23 calls per month in the last six months, King said.

Every day poses its own unique challenges for the emergency medical team who work side-by-side with their civilian counterparts to offer top notch emergency care to base Airmen and their families, King explained.

Enlisted emergency medical technicians work 12-hour panama schedules, fluctuating between two days on followed by two to three days off. Civilian paramedics in the shop work 24 to 72 hour shifts.

The section's personnel receive five months of technical training and renewals of their EMT licenses every two years. The renewal process involves both hands on applications and classroom study to ensure the EMTs are ready for any situation that might come their way.

In addition to required recertification, ambulance services also participates in quarterly medical contingency response plan exercises.

"Mass casualty response exercises test our capabilities to support the mission while caring for a large number of casualties," King said. "We also take part in some of the base fire department's training exercises to measure our ability to combine emergency responder agencies for a common purpose."

Along with having advanced life and cardiac training for paramedic services, the section also provides medical coverage for base activities.

"We provide medical coverage for events ranging from five kilometer runs to commanders calls," said Senior Airman Ryan Itchon, 5th MDOS EMT.

Ambulance services has three standard "type 1" ambulances at their disposal, two are 4-wheel-drive to combat tough road conditions and the other is a 2-wheel-drive model used during the summer months.

"We operate fully loaded advance life support ambulances," said Tami Kitzman 5th MDOS paramedic. "We also use LIFEPAK15 cardiac monitors, battery operated gurneys, stairchairs, backboards and a whole host of splints, stretchers and other medical equipment."

Ready to respond to any accident that threatens life, limb or eye sight, ambulance services supplies the base with emergency care and 24/7 medical support.

"It's very humbling to be there for our patients through a frightening moment, their darkest hour or even a heightened time of stress," Kitzman said. "We love being able to guide, comfort and assist them in their time of distress 24/7."

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