Military News

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Team Malmstrom works with Montana National guard, local emergency services during MARE

by Airman 1st Class Collin Schmidt
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

8/12/2015 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont.  -- Medical personnel, emergency response and flight crew members from Malmstrom Air Force Base banded together Monday Aug. 20 to participate in a Major Accident Response Exercise along with members of the 120th Airlift Wing and flight crew from the Montana Army National Guard.

Implemented to evaluate how Airmen on the base could organize and execute a massive casualty response while coordinating with multiple agencies across the state of Montana, the event proved to be a challenge that would take teamwork to execute effectively.

"The exercise was successful in that the objectives we set out to perform were accomplished," said Capt. Jason Garcia, 341st Medical Support Squadron diagnostics and therapeutics flight commander. "There were many moving parts to include multiple emergency response and ground transition vehicles, and six aircraft."

Forty-two simulated casualties were successfully flown from the scene of the accident to virtual triage centers in Great Falls and Helena, Montana.

At the scene, The 341st Medical group integrated their team with members of the Montana Air National Guard's 120th Medical Group and processed 15 simulated casualties.

"We demonstrated the ability to communicate and coordinate with the Army National Guard's 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion who provided medevac support for 26 casualties, and local Great Falls emergency services," said Garcia.

The local Great Falls emergency services simulated transport of one critical casualty to Benefis Health System.

According to Garcia, all the units and community partners involved performed very well throughout the exercise while garnering valuable observations and lessons to improve upon in the future.

Leading up to the event, preparation was crucial.

If members of Team Malmstrom and coordinating emergency personnel already have experience in dealing with a disaster situation, that can translate to reduced response times, eliminate confusion and ultimately save lives with a better synchronized response.

According to participants, the best part of the MARE response was the professionalism on display at all levels.

"There was a focus by all the players involved," said Garcia. "Everyone was clearly there to learn and improve."

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