Medics train for rapid response
Story by SrA Benjamin Ingold on 08/08/2019
Airmen from the 20th Medical Group held a mass-casualty exercise at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, August 1.
The exercise intended to prepare Shaw Weasel medics for a dynamic care environment, both in-garrison and downrange.
“You don’t know how you’re going to respond to something until you’re in it,” said Lt. Col. Cheryl Lockhart, 20th MDG chief nurse. “We wanted the medics to identify what skills they need to brush up on when they are in the heat of the moment.”
The event began with a simulated explosion at a picnic and ended at the 20th MDG building. Different departments were presented challenges throughout the exercise as patient conditions changed.
“We wanted to create a situation where there was a sense of stress and urgency,” said Col. Christian Lyons, 20th MDG commander. “There were a lot of casualties and they needed to triage them appropriately.”
Instead of simulating the causalities being taken off base by Sumter emergency services, the medics cared for the patients on base longer to train for a potential base lockdown. The exercise tested Airmen’s flexibility as the medics provided care to patients with simulated worsening symptoms.
“I am very happy and humbled by our medics,” said Lyons. “I can say confidently that they are ready to rise to the occasion in a disaster situation and take care of our base and community.”