AF med group tests disaster response
Medical professionals from the 779th Medical Group honed their disaster-response skills during a recent exercise.
Two expeditionary medical support teams, made up of more than 50 members each, constructed and took down a 25-bed field hospital.
"The EMEDS team provides full scale medical support for ground and aeromedical evacuation," said Col. Rudolph Cachuela, 779th Medical Group commander. "It is rapidly deployable and designed to deliver limb and lifesaving capabilities to a contingency within 24 hours."
A team is made up of medical, logistical, administrative and other staff responsible for quickly deploying and setting up a field hospital. It was a new experience for some.
"This was the first time I have ever tried to do anything like this. Once you get this many Airmen together it really isn't as hard as it looks," said Maj. Tracie Tate, 779th Medical Group practice manager. "I am proud to do something that helps others. Of course we hope we are never faced with a disaster. But when we are deployed, I am proud to be able to go and serve making someone else's life a little bit easier."
Normally members from the 779th Medical Group must travel to Camp Bullis, Texas, to get training. But the Air National Guard, who maintain and store the hospital units for quick response, allowed the unit to use the portable hospital.
"Many of the folks here have had training, so I am just here to help and provide guidance if they have a question and show them a couple of tricks to make it more efficient," said Tech. Sgt. Sean Keene, medical readiness instructor from Camp Bullis.
In a real-world catastrophe, military forces may provide assistance to federal, state and local emergency responders to save lives, prevent injury and provide temporary critical support.
"We have to make sure our folks are ready for anything--they need to be prepared to not only be medical professionals, they need to be prepared to build their own field hospital," said Lt. Col. Shawn P. Zarr, 779th Surgical Operations Squadron commander.
Article by Melanie Moore, 79th Medical Wing Public Affairs