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July 27, 2012

News

19th CERFP conducts medical operations during PATRIOT 2012

Story & photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vise, 120th Public Affairs Detachment

VOLK FIELD, Wis. — Members of Indiana’s disaster response force package conducted hands-on, life-saving medical training at Fort McCoy, Wis., during the fourth annual PATRIOT exercise held by National Guard Bureau.
PHOTO: A medic with Indiana’s disaster emergency response force package performs Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support training. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vise
Indiana National Guard Tech. Sgt. Andrew Love, a medic with Indiana’s disaster emergency response force package, performs Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support training during PATRIOT 2012 at Fort McCoy.

The National Guard Bureau’s PATRIOT 12 annual training exercise was held at Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center and Fort McCoy.

More than 1,100 participants took part in a large-scale emergency response exercise, bringing community, state and federal agencies together with military organizations from several states. Agencies included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services, Minnesota Department of Health Mortuary Response Team, Civil Air Patrol, Wisconsin Disaster Medical Team, Juneau County Sheriff and HAZMAT (Hazardous Material) Team, and the Tomah Police Department.

“This year’s exercise is unique because we are training alongside local authorities,” said Lt. Col. Brian Leong, PATRIOT 12 director. “Working with federal, state, and local authorities will allow us to be better prepared to respond to a national crisis.”

The primary purpose of PATRIOT 12 is to assess the National Guard’s ability to assist state and local agencies in response to multiple emergencies.

The exercise helped all participants identify the strengths and weaknesses in their current response plans.

Members of the 19th CERFP, or Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package, learned Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) techniques at Fort McCoy.

ACLS is a set of clinical interventions for the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, stroke and other life threatening medical emergencies, as well as the knowledge and skills to deploy those interventions, said Gregg Roberts, the training and clinic coordinator for the Fort McCoy medical facility.

This training is vital for the medics of the 19th CERFP, said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Love, an Indiana National Guard medic with the force package. He said doctors or physician assistants might not always be available to assist, especially when there is a high influx of patients.

“We don’t have the number of docs or PAs to go around to every patient when there is a large amount of people to be evaluated, we have to be trained and react when a patient crashes,” said Love.

Once a patient’s heart can beat on its own and they are stable, medics can move them into post care, said Love.

The training is a one-day course covering compressions, airways, recording and administering life-saving drugs to bring the heart back to its normal rhythmic pattern, said Love. To receive the ACLS certification, the medics are required to pass both hands-on and written evaluations.

Roberts and Love said the medics that pass the evaluation for ACLS will receive a two-year certification from the American Heart Association.

The certification is a requirement for many medical professionals, including doctors, nurses and paramedics working in emergency situations.

(Information from the Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office is included in this story.)

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