Firefighters, medics train to transport trauma patients

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrew Park
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron and the 386th Expeditionary Medical Squadron conducted a motor vehicle accident training exercise March 10, 2017 at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.

The two squadrons created the exercise to identify potential shortfalls in the case of a real-world scenario where they’d need to work together to treat and transport trauma victims.

The exercise scenario involved a vehicle with four passengers crashing into a light pole. One of these passengers simulated being ejected from the vehicle while another simulated hitting his head on the steering wheel. The other two passengers had minor injuries ranging from cuts to shock.

“When it’s a major incident, you’re going to have a lot of trauma patients that are going to need immediate attention,” explained Master Sgt. Carlos Quinones, 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron assistant chief of training. “This exercise gave us the opportunity to have two trauma patients: the one who was ejected from the vehicle and the one who hit the steering wheel. Those are patients that you have to treat within minutes.”

Although the speed limit around base is low enough where a situation such as this is unlikely to occur, the lessons the squadrons learn from the scenario are useful in a variety of situations where medics and firefighters are called upon to work together. For instance, rescuing a driver from a confined space such as a crashed vehicle is good training for rescuing pilots from damaged aircraft, said Quinones.

The expected outcome of the training was for participants to learn more about each other’s strengths and capabilities so they can make the right decisions in the heat of the moment that will ultimately save lives.

“Let’s say they have a piece of equipment we haven’t been trained on here but we know how to operate it because we have it back home in the states,” said Quinones. “It gives us the opportunity to train together and at least be on the same page.”

Overall, the training was a success, said Quinones. The participants learned a lot from each other and are more confident in their abilities to perform the necessary steps in treating patients.

Both squadrons plan to continue training with each other in similar scenarios not only to be prepared for any number of accidents that may occur around base, but also to prepare themselves and future rotations for continued success in keeping Airmen safe.