Fort Benning junior enlisted soldiers aid senior citizens during Vibrant Response
March 19, 2013
MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. - Junior enlisted soldiers from the 690th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance) from Fort Benning, Ga., demonstrated their ability to assess, treat and evacuate role-players, acting as "survivors" of a nuclear-blast attack, during a Vibrant Response 13 training exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, Ind., July 31.
Responding to a request to support survivors at the Muscatatuck Happy Valley Nursing Home, combat medics and military policemen from the company aided the senior citizens by providing medical field care and evacuation.
The Fort Benning Company, primarily consisting of seasoned junior enlisted Soldiers, were focused on the mission at hand, completing the training and saving lives.
"This is very technical and realistic training," said Spc. Diego Navarro, a combat medic assigned to the 690th Med. Company "(It) keeps us on our toes so we're ready in case anything happens."
In the event of a natural or man-made disaster in country, the 690th Med. Company, and other Joint Task Force Civil Support units are responsible for supporting the local, state and federal authorities with lifesaving and life-sustaining operations.
The company, composed of combat medics and trained rescue technicians, is specialized in providing ground evacuation support and services, which include treating and evacuating injured personnel to the nearest medical treatment facility.
"We're trained to help people no matter the situation; it's just a part of what we do," said Navarro, a native of Phoenix, Ariz.
During the exercise, the Fort Benning troopers were tasked with providing medical field care to approximately 30 survivors located at the nursing home.
After arriving on scene, the military policemen assisted the medics in triaging citizens and evacuating them to the field litter ambulances. Once the non-ambulatory survivors were loaded onto the FLAs, the combat medics transported them to a nearby landing zone so they could be evacuated in UH-60 helicopters.
"This training is awesome; we're conducting operations the same way we would in the real world and the big difference is we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes," said Spc. Stephanie Williams, a combat medic assigned to the 690th Med. Company
Williams made her presence felt during the exercise as she navigated through the nursing home assisting her fellow "battle buddies."
Whether she was carrying a medical litter or issuing out orders on what survivors needed to be treated next, you could find the young trooper trying to console and calm the distressed civilians being treated.
"After participating in all the training we've had to complete through these past couple of days, I'm confident we can provide assistance if anyone should ever need it," said Williams, a native of Detroit, Mich.
Once the civilians were loaded onto the helicopters, the Fort Benning troopers transported them to a local landing zone and loaded the survivors up so they could be taken to receive additional help at a medical center.
"It's nice to be out here during this exercise and train in this (environment)," said Pfc. Charles Butler, a combat medic with the medical company.
Butler believed one of the best moments of this entire exercise was watching the survivors fly away in the helicopters knowing they did a good job and they civilians would be fine.
"We treat patients and evacuate them as quickly as possible; we're the first responders and it's what we're trained to do," said Butler a native of West Virginia.
Throughout the next week, the 690th Medical Company (Ground Ambulance) will continue to support JTF-CS while participating in the U.S. Army North led Vibrant Response exercise.