First Army Soldiers, civilian medical team partner for air MEDEVAC training
By SFC Rob Frazier, 177th Armored Brigade Public AffairsJuly 16, 2018
CAMP SHELBY, Miss -- On a hot and humid morning, two Soldiers stood in between their injured battle buddy to block the wind as the air medical evacuation helicopter touched down, today.Off on one side, more than 100 Soldiers stood silently and watched as the responders assess his gun-shot wound, load him on a gurney and quickly rush him to the back of the helicopter for transportation to Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.Although this event and simulated injury was part of training, the scenario demonstrated the importance of partnership with first responders in the Pine Belt area as Soldiers continue to train at the instillation."Today we wanted to validate the evacuation procedures for Soldiers and civilians who require timely medical support which is not available at Camp Shelby, said Sgt. 1st Class Lonnie Jenkins, brigade medical team noncommissioned officer in charge.This week, more than two-thousand National Guardsman arrived to Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center from the Louisiana National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Over the next few weeks, the "Tiger" Brigade will demonstrate their readiness through an eXportable Combat Training Capability exercise with First Army Soldiers from the 177th Armored Brigade and opposing forces supplied by 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.Leadership has conducted deliberate risk assessments and made allowances for all possible contingencies; however, what happens when a serious injury occurs deep in the training area, and the distance to the hospital is not conducive for wheeled-vehicle transport?That's where Rescue7, the critical care medical team who partnered with the "Spearhead" Bde. for this exercise comes into play."We are consistently training to improve the team's readiness and response times," said Lindsey Hill, Rescue7 medical operations coordinator.Due to the size of the training area at CSJFTC, much of which encompasses portions of the Desoto National Forest, the need to coordinate effectively with medical air assets could make the difference when time is the primary factor for casualty care.Although Camp Shelby does not have an on-site hospital or helicopters in its fleet, the location of the instillation offers a unique partnership with first responders throughout the Pine Belt.
This is not the first time the Air Medical Transport based out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, has supported Camp Shelby, and the team welcomes opportunities to work with those in uniform to provide the best care possible."We are consistently training to improve the team's readiness and response times," added Hill. "It's an honor to be partnered with the military to assist them."