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 June 25, 2010

News

Medical units tackle real-life scenarios

Story & Photos by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Unit personnel participating in a two-week training session at Fort McCoy developed their medical and Soldier skills to prepare for any future mission they may receive.

PHOTO: Medical personnel participate in a medical tactical lane scenario where they remove a victim from a vehicle damaged by an explosion. Photo by Rob Schuette
Medical personnel participate in a medical tactical lane scenario where they remove a victim from a vehicle damaged by an explosion. Regional Training Site-Medical conducted real-life scenarios for two Army hospital units and a medical support unit.

Maj. Dennis Klatt, a clinical coordinator for Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical at Fort McCoy, said RTS-Medical personnel arranged for training to teach Army Reserve medical units what they might encounter in future scenarios, such as deployments. The practical training was done on medical tactical lanes, while classroom training was conducted at RTS-Medical facilities.

“The units included two U.S. Army Hospitals and a Medical Support Unit, with Soldiers from Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas,” Klatt said.

The scenarios included removing victims from the scene of an incident, such as a rollover or improvised explosive device (IED) attack, triaging patients, and medevacing patients for treatment.

Many scenarios were based on incidents that occurred during deployments or that troops might encounter, Klatt said.
David Meyer, an RTS-Medical instructor, said his station involved treating a Soldier in a tower who had a simulated gunshot wound to the chest. Soldiers secured the area, climbed the tower, stabilized the victim, and lowered the Soldier to ground level to be evacuated to safety and for further medical treatment, if needed.

PHOTO: Soldiers lower a wounded victim from a tower after assessing his injuries during a medical tactical lane scenario. Photo by Rob Schuette
Soldiers lower a wounded victim from a tower after assessing his injuries during a medical tactical lane scenario.

“They get real-life training,” Meyer said. “First, they trained with a mannequin and then with a live person. A person can respond to them and tell them ‘it hurts’ and have interaction with the treatment.”

Andres Reyes, an RTS-Medical instructor, taught his students about an IED explosion in an M-113 vehicle scenario. Personnel had to extricate the victims from a dangerous vehicle, medically assess them and evacuate them for treatment.

“They learn the proper way to remove people from vehicles/equipment safely and save their lives,” Reyes said. “Soldiers can be bashed around, receive blunt trauma” or have spinal injuries.

Not everyone in the scenarios is wounded, he said. Some may be in shock and moving around incoherently, for example, but must be medically assessed and treated.

“Reservists may not (work in the medical field) in their civilian jobs so it’s important if they come upon these situations they aren’t caught off guard and know what to do,” he said. “These Soldiers may be facing deployment at any time.”

Spc. Steven Yoshida of Detachment 2, 1984th Combat Support Hospital of Honolulu, said he is assigned to human resources, but wanted to know what to do in an emergency.

“It was good to work with the live victims because you’re dealing with real weight, having to move them and can talk to them and get responses,” Yoshida said. “You’re more careful when you’re working with a real person than with a mannequin.”

Pvt. 2 Jefferson Bonilla, a combat medic with Detachment 2, 1984th, said the training was good. The personnel in the group he was in treated a casualty in a tower who had a simulated gunshot wound to the chest.

“We had to assess, treat and then lower him from the tower and ensure all the equipment was secure so we didn’t drop him,” Bonilla said. “We also did other Soldier tasks such as land navigation and went to the ranges to fire weapons during our two weeks of training.”

PHOTO: Andres Reyes (third from right), a Regional Training Site-Medical instructor, conducts an after-action review following a medical tactical lane scenario. Photo by Rob Schuette
Andres Reyes (third from right), a Regional Training Site-Medical instructor, conducts an after-action review following a medical tactical lane scenario.

Capt. Nikki DeBoer, a nurse with the 4204th U.S. Army Hospital from Topeka, Kan., said as an emergency nurse in her civilian career she sees the aftermath of these kinds of incidents. The emergency medical services (EMS) personnel give them a concise write-up of what happened on the scene and what treatment was administered.

“The patients are very stable when they get to me so I don’t get to see this part of the procedure very often,” DeBoer said. “I have a greater appreciation of what the EMS personnel do and will thank them when I get home.”

2nd Lt. Scott Spaeth, also a nurse with the 4204th, said it was good training that taught them how to provide treatment without getting injured themselves.

“I don’t get to see how the injuries happen so this will help me back in my civilian job in the ER as well as understanding what happens,” Spaeth said. “It’s really good training to teach us how to extract people safely and as quickly as possible on the battlefield.”

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