FORT SILL, Okla. (Feb. 19, 2015) -- Drill sergeants from B Battery, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, or B/1-40th FA, recently received their quarterly air medical evacuation training, and boosted medical evacuation, or MEDEVAC, training for Basic Combat Training, or BCT, Soldiers.
The 167 BCT Soldiers were in their second week of training and had classroom work and practical exercises in MEDEVAC the day before, so the observation supplemented their training.
"It's a great opportunity for the drill sergeants to go through this, and to have the Soldiers see it," said 1st Lt. Aaron Ballard, B/1-40th FA executive officer.
A medical crew from Comanche County Memorial Hospital flying in a Eurocopter AS350 landed on the infield of the 434th FA Brigade track to assist with the training, Feb. 13.
The accident scenario involved Staff Sgt. Lorea Landeros, a drill sergeant, falling from a Conex storage container and being knocked out when she hit the ground.
Drill sergeants Staff Sgt. Donald Craine, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Rice, Staff Sgt. Michael Hank and Staff Sgt. Matthew Valverde performed first aid on the simulated patient. They used an AVPU scale, checking for alert, voice, pain and unresponsiveness.
"We want to make sure the casualty doesn't sustain more injuries," said Craine, who served as team leader.
On the ground, Lori Herrian, certified flight nurse, spoke with the drill sergeants about the injury and the approach and transfer to the helo.
On Craine's commands, the stretcher team members prepared to lift, lifted and then moved to the helicopter for the transfer.
John Moffitt, flight paramedic, explained the medications carried on board the helo, as well as what facility and what city they might take a patient depending on the injury, such as Oklahoma City or Wichita Falls, Oklahoma.
Pilot James Taylor then explained what weather, and other flying restrictions he operated under.
While waiting for the helo to arrive, Staff Sgt. Edward Portera drill sergeant, queried the Soldiers about the nine-line MEDEVAC request.
Soldiers volunteered answers including: location of the pickup site; radio frequency; number of patients by medical urgency; patient nationality, as well as nuclear, biological and chemical contamination.
"I hope I never have to use it, but if I do, I feel that I'm prepared," said Spc. Richard Harris, who was one of the Soldiers who observed the MEDEVAC and will graduate April 3, with the battery.
Capt. Luke Moody, B/1-40th FA commander, said the training was invaluable.
"Joint training events like this helps our systems 'talk' because we have totally different radios and communications processes," Moody said. "If something happens in real-world here, we can get those BCT Soldiers out."