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Airmen decrease response time with improved expeditionary medical team

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More than 60 medical Airmen from Andersen Air Force Base, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and Yokota Air Base, Japan, joined trained on the new expeditionary medical support health response team, Dec. 10-13.

EMEDS is a team of expertly-trained medical professionals who utilize a mobile tent hospital to support the needs of emergency responders. The team is able to handle most aspects of emergency medical care, including surgery and trauma.

The basic capabilities of the 36th Medical Group include prevention, acute intervention, primary care and dental service to a population of 1,500 to 3,000 people. The new EMEDS HRT system includes additional capabilities.

The 36th MDG is one of 10 Air Force units that will be replacing the old EMEDS basic with the new system. In the past, 36th MDG officials could use the basic system to respond to its humanitarian assistance rapid response team, but the leaner, faster and more effective design of the new EMEDS HRT will improve the group's response time.

"The EMEDS basic originally used Alaskan shelters that were bulkier and took longer to set up," said Maj. Ryan Gabel, from the Air Combat Command training cadre from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. "The new tents are lighter, and one tent can be completely built with electricity in about 30 minutes."

The tents are not the only upgrade to the system. With capability in mind, the EMEDS HRT system is packed to ensure the most important capability is readily available when deployment is needed.

"The basic system packed supplies to benefit movement of the EMEDS," Gabel continued. "But the EMEDS HRT system is packed to ensure that important capabilities are available quicker. The emergency room can now be set up and running within two hours."

Along with participating personnel, trainers from ACC and U.S. Pacific Command traveled to Andersen AB to help set up the new equipment.

"We are out here to help them familiarize with the new equipment," Gabel said. "We can go through the setup step-by-step to ensure everyone knows how to do it correctly."

For one week, PACAF medics worked together setting up the EMEDS HRT system, stocking it with medical supplies and treating simulated patients.

"The team was very motivated during the training," Gabel said. "They were enthusiastic about learning the new equipment and process. They did a great job and gave us feedback that we can carry back to make the new system even better."

Article by Senior Airman Benjamin Wiseman, 36th Wing Public Affairs