156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron train to provide care skyward
By Staff Sgt. Julianne M. Showalter, 145th Public Affairs
/ Published February 19, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- As a new year begins, a new training cycle begins and the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron wasted no time getting their airmen skyward to meet requirements and pass standards.
The Jan. 9, 2015 flight consisted of two rotations of training with the crew switching from being patients to acting as medical technicians. Taking only a short break for lunch, the crew handled the busy mission well.
The squadron has the ability to create an intensive care unit in the sky, transporting patients globally on platforms such as the C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and C-130 Hercules aircraft.
"The mission today was very busy. It was different than we expected. We met the requirements, adjusted when we needed to and it was successful. Lots of people completed training today," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul Sanford, a flight nurse with the 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who held the role of an evaluator during the flight.
"We had some minor hiccups, but that's exactly why we train to see what things can go wrong and correct them," said Master Sgt. Diego Santos, 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, who is responsible for giving the scenarios relating to aircraft emergencies and patient ailments as the mission clinical coordinator.
The scenario on the C-130 Hercules aircraft was to move ten patients in need of life-saving care from Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, to Malcolm Grove Medical Center, Md.
The mock patient maladies ranged from heart failure to intestinal bleeding. Loss of cabin pressurization and warning lights were some of the aircraft emergency simulations during the flight. The airmen must balance these scenarios while providing care to patients.
"They did great; one of the challenges is using the Air Force procedures onboard. Doing medical treatment in a hospital is different than on an aircraft," Sanford said.
Performing these aeromedical tasks is what separates these technicians from the ones seen at a clinic.
"We want to train people so they're doing one thing but thinking two steps ahead of themselves. That way there's no hesitation and better situational awareness," said Santos.
The 156th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron carries out their mission with excellence and ensures that every airman receives very best care possible!