A Day at Dustoff for Enterprise High School HOSA Students

By Christopher Mendez Fort Novosel Public AffairsDecember 11, 2023

High school seniors from Enterprise High School participate in hands on training alongside the soldiers during ‘A Day at Dustoff,’ at the Department of Aviation Medicine Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novosel on December 5th, 2023.
High school seniors from Enterprise High School participate in hands on training alongside the soldiers during ‘A Day at Dustoff,’ at the Department of Aviation Medicine Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novosel on December 5th, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT NOVOSEL, Ala. -- MEDIC! is something you never want to hear screamed on a battlefield. But the reality is that when a soldier is injured that is exactly what they need. High school seniors from Enterprise High School enrolled in the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) program participated in hands-on training alongside Soldiers and learned just how important this word is.

During ‘A Day at Dustoff’, the students learned that moving a critical care patient on the battlefield is a vital skill that is taught at the Department of Aviation Medicine Dustoff Training Complex (DTC) at Fort Novosel. The DTC is one of the premier locations in the country for joint forces to train on how to move patients in rotary wing aircraft.

Sara Johnson, the Health Science Instructor with Enterprise High School HOSA Program and a registered nurse said, “Our experience with the flight medic training facility was amazing. Everyone was welcoming, informative, and engaging with my students.”

Johnson expressed what a great experience it was for her and her students to be able to participate with the heroes that serve the community and the country.

Students from Enterprise High School HOSA program received their training equipment at Lyster Army Health Clinic prior to their Day at Dustoff at Fort Novosel. They were ready for takeoff as soon as they suited up for the day. December 5th, 2023.
Students from Enterprise High School HOSA program received their training equipment at Lyster Army Health Clinic prior to their Day at Dustoff at Fort Novosel. They were ready for takeoff as soon as they suited up for the day. December 5th, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

The students received their initial briefing and overview of the day from Lt. Col. Ruben Cruz, Director of the EnRoute Care Branch at Fort Novosel. The students were issued the same equipment as any military student that takes the courses at the DTC, which made the day more real for them. The students’ eyes lit up as soon as they put on their equipment and were excited to start their mission for the day.

Cruz said, “We are training the current and future generations of military healthcare providers with different specialties and scopes of practice to successfully transport critical care patients around the world in any situation right here at the Department of Aviation Medicine Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novosel.”

Students and Soldiers get to know each other and discuss their interests, goals, experiences and how the healthcare field has impacted their lives on December 5th, 2023.
Students and Soldiers get to know each other and discuss their interests, goals, experiences and how the healthcare field has impacted their lives on December 5th, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Our goal for the students was to pair them up with a team in the profession that they were interested in, whether it was a nurse or a doctor or a specific branch of service, Army, Navy or even Air Force, and to be able to interact with them, discuss the career path that they took, how they got were they are today and walk side by side with them for the day,” said Cruz. “We are excited for the opportunity to introduce these students as future Army healthcare providers to what we do here at Fort Novosel and the impact it makes to the local, global, and military communities.”

Maxine Montino, a student from the EHS HOSA program who is interested in Psychology/Psychiatry met with Aeromedical Psychologist and Course Director for the Aeromedical Psychology Training Program, Lt. Col. Tracy Durham and have a one-on-one discussion about her experiences and how her career in the Army has had an impact on her life and the lives of many others.
Maxine Montino, a student from the EHS HOSA program who is interested in Psychology/Psychiatry met with Aeromedical Psychologist and Course Director for the Aeromedical Psychology Training Program, Lt. Col. Tracy Durham and have a one-on-one discussion about her experiences and how her career in the Army has had an impact on her life and the lives of many others. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

Maxine Montino, an EHS HOSA student interested in psychology/psychiatry met with Aeromedical Psychologist and Course Director for the Aeromedical Psychology Training Program, Lt. Col. Tracy Durham for a one-on-one discussion about her experiences and how her career in the Army has had an impact on her life and the lives of many others.

EHS HOSA student Na'Veya Johnson said, “I thought it was great. I was especially impressed by the soldier from Brazil. She was so encouraging, kind, and wanted me to learn as much as I could.”

Cruz, his staff, and cadre introduced the students to the world of enroute care and took them step-by-step through the process of transporting a critical care patient without delay. The students quickly found themselves in real life scenarios in critical care of patients.

Students from the HOSA program at Enterprise High School worked side by side with the soldiers, assessing and prepping their patient for transport on December 5th, 2023, at Fort Novosel.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Students from the HOSA program at Enterprise High School worked side by side with the soldiers, assessing and prepping their patient for transport on December 5th, 2023, at Fort Novosel. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Students and Soldiers make last minute preparations before loading the patient onto the simulated aircraft on December 5th, 2023, at the Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novosel.
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Students and Soldiers make last minute preparations before loading the patient onto the simulated aircraft on December 5th, 2023, at the Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novosel. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

Alongside military students, the high school students prepped the aircraft, making sure that all the necessary equipment was in place and ready to go. They received information on their patient and were given their mission. The students assessed the patients and prepped them for transport, which included taking vitals, administering medicine through an IV, treating or stabilizing them, gathering the supplies needed and packaging the patients for movement. They then moved their patients into waiting simulated helicopters.

During a critical part of the training the students were tasked with moving and loading their patient onto the aircraft for transport at the DTC on Fort Novosel. Once the patient is loaded the door to the simulator is closed and the simulation exercise begins. December 5th, 2023.
During a critical part of the training the students were tasked with moving and loading their patient onto the aircraft for transport at the DTC on Fort Novosel. Once the patient is loaded the door to the simulator is closed and the simulation exercise begins. December 5th, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

The state-of-the-art simulators recreate just about everything medical personnel will experience during real life transport, to include the sounds of the helicopter, temperature changes, the small workspace, as well as what can go right and wrong at any moment. While the students were inside the aircraft providing critical care, the instructors monitored the situation via cameras stationed throughout the simulator.

The instructors can change the scenario by manipulating the patient, simulating breathing problems, lung injury, a drop in blood pressure, signs of a head injury, loss of consciousness, seizures, and various other situations medical personnel may face with their patient. The students were required to identify, react, and properly treat the patient quickly and effectively to safely transport them to their destination.

After completing the simulation and dismounting the aircraft the students receive their after-action review and are instructed on what they did correctly and where they might have made mistakes at the Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novovsel on December 5th, 2023.
After completing the simulation and dismounting the aircraft the students receive their after-action review and are instructed on what they did correctly and where they might have made mistakes at the Dustoff Training Complex on Fort Novovsel on December 5th, 2023. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL

After the hands-on exercise, the instructors provided an after-action review and walked the students through the entire process. They discussed what they learned, answered the questions they had, and educated them on the proper protocols and methods that they used or didn’t use during the simulation. The goal is to learn from their mistakes here and fine tune these skills during training so that they are prepared when called to perform their duty in the real world.

Cianna Scott, one of the students from the EHS HOSA Program said, “It was such a unique experience. Getting to practice different rescue techniques alongside nurses, EMT, paramedics and doctors was great. Learning from them and seeing their day-to-day work was amazing.”

If you are interested in a community engagement tour for your school, JROTC, or community leadership group, call Fort Novosel Public Affairs at 334-255-2474.

For more photos of this tour visit the HOSA album at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortnovosel/albums/72177720313216717

The Garrison Commander Col. John P. Miller, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher T. Doss speak with the students touring the Dustoff Training Complex on how the healthcare field in the military impacts not just the military community and its family but also the civilian community, and how these jobs translate to the civilian world after service. December 5th, 2023, at Fort Novosel.
The Garrison Commander Col. John P. Miller, and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher T. Doss speak with the students touring the Dustoff Training Complex on how the healthcare field in the military impacts not just the military community and its family but also the civilian community, and how these jobs translate to the civilian world after service. December 5th, 2023, at Fort Novosel. (Photo Credit: Chris Mendez) VIEW ORIGINAL