Fort McCoy News July 28, 2017

94th CSH sets up hospital from bare ground

during training at RTS-Medical

STORY & PHOTOS BY AIMEE MALONE
Public Affairs Staff

Transforming a spot of bare ground into a fully functional hospital takes a lot of planning and hard work, but the Soldiers with the A and B companies of the 94th Combat Support Hospital are confident they can do it after training at Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical at Fort McCoy.

"When you go to the hospital, you don't really think about it. You see all these tents and everything that's set up, but you don't think about the work that goes into setting up these huge complexes," said Capt. Ray Javers with the 94th CSH, A Company, of Little Rock.

Soldiers with the 94th CSH spent two weeks in mid-July learning how to set up a Deployable Medical Systems (DEPMEDS) hospital at RTS-Medical.

Soldiers with the 94th Combat Support Hospital of Seagoville, Texas, and Little Rock disassemble a hospital tent during training July 18 at Regional Training Site-Medical at Fort McCoy.
Soldiers with the 94th Combat Support Hospital of Seagoville, Texas,
and Little Rock disassemble a hospital tent during training July 18 at
Regional Training Site-Medical at Fort McCoy
.


Employees with Regional Training Site-Medical place a shipping container for Soldiers to load equipment into during training.
Employees with Regional Training Site-Medical place a shipping
container for Soldiers to load equipment into during training.

The course covers how to set up a DEPMEDS hospital from start to finish — staking out the tent layout, transporting the equipment, establishing TEMPER (Tent, Extendable, Modular, Personnel), running both power and water to and from the tents, and setting up the medical equipment and electronic administration systems.

A CSH unit has a limited amount of time to set up the hospital when it arrives on location, so it's important to be well-versed in all the accomplished tasks.

"They have about 72 hours to be fully operational," said instructor Ashley Feauto, a contractor with CSRA Inc. through RTS-Medical. "Within the first 24 hours, they have to be set up to do what's called tailgate medicine."

The Soldiers spent multiple days practicing and refining each task, spending five days alone learning how to set up, take down, and properly repack the different multi-section tents required for an 84-bed hospital.

"You're not going to be an expert and be able to do it on your own with only setting it up one time," Feauto said.

Different teams within the unit handle different tasks. Soldiers are primarily assigned to one of the setup teams and work together to get the hospital up and running. "Each team is useless without the rest," Feauto said.

A DEPMEDS hospital is just a series of tents without running water and power, and a lot of time is wasted if Soldiers try to set up tents without staking out where every component is going to go, she said.

Capt. Peter Hawley with the 94th CSH, B Company, of Seagoville, Texas, said that while some of the Soldiers attending the course were learning their roles for the first time, others were cross-training and learning new tasks. For example, while he already knew how to temper, this was the first time he'd learned staking and power setup.

"We've all tried to learn new roles, and the idea is that all of us will eventually be able to fall into any role," Hawley said.

Both Javers and Hawley said the training at Fort McCoy has been invaluable and will help them train other Soldiers when they return home.

"We've had really great instructors (at RTS-Medical,)" Javers said. "I feel like I can bring back that knowledge to the unit and teach someone how to do it and do it properly."

"There's no way we could get (the hospital) up in 72 hours before, and now I feel like we actually could do it," Hawley said.

RTS-Medical offers one-stop training in its medical complex of buildings in the 10000 block area, which allows units to conduct all their training in the area, reduce travel time, and minimize distractions. The organization has been a tenant activity and training partner at Fort McCoy since 1991. For more information about RTS-Medical training, call 608-388-2544.