Joint-service training helps medics stay prepared

(Via Ho’okele News)

Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Schantz (left), 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, observes 15th Medical Group medics as they lift a patient litter into a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter during a joint training session April 17 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. (See additional photos on page A-5.)

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez

15th Wing Public Affairs

Air Force, Army and Navy personnel participated in a medical patient transfer training on the Hickam flightline April 17.

The training helped Air Force and Navy medics learn techniques for loading and unloading patients on a HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter, C-17 Globemaster III and a personnel transport bus.

“This hands-on training will help familiarize the medics with safety aspects and flow of a patient movement,” said Capt. Stephen Williams, 15th Medical Group (15th MDG) readiness officer. “They’ll be better prepared to do a patient movement if they ever have to do so.”

Williams and his team of organizers worked diligently to coordinate planning of the event, including having the C-17 and HH-60 available to train on, reserving space on the flightline, and other logistical requirements.

“The planning took a bit of an effort. Most of it was trying to find the correct Army and Navy points of contact,” Williams said.

“They were great to work with and were on board from the beginning. We made sure they knew our vision for the training, so we could all work together and pull it off successfully.”

Participants received instruction from subject matter experts from the 18th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Detachment 1, and the Army’s 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii.

Col. Virginia Garner, 15th MDG commander, came up with the idea of the training and highlighted the importance of joint-service training events such as this.

“We are on a joint base and we interact with the Army and Navy on a daily basis, so training like this and having us all work together makes sense and benefits us all,” Garner said.

“This gives the medics an opportunity to come out onto the flightline and learn about [air evacuation] operations so that if something were to happen down the road, our folks are prepared.”

Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Trevor Wallace, Naval Health Clinic Hawaii, joined five other Sailors in the training and said it was a beneficial event.

“We’re definitely using this opportunity to expand our knowledge and work jointly with the other services,” Wallace said. “When a disaster or mass casualty event happens, it doesn’t matter what uniform we’re wearing, we need to come together to make sure the patients get the proper care and treatment they deserve.”

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