HomeNewsArticle Display

375th MDSS team repairs life-saving equipment across 13 states

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, 375th Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, repairs a dermatologic laser at the 375th Medical group Clinic, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Jan. 11, 2019. As a member of the 375th Medical Equipment Repair Center, McGhee ensures vital equipment including patient movement items such as ventilators, infant incubators, life support units, defibrillators and patient monitors are calibrated and properly set up.(Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, 375th Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, repairs a dermatologic laser at the 375th Medical group Clinic, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Jan. 11, 2019. As a member of the 375th Medical Equipment Repair Center, McGhee ensures vital equipment including patient movement items such as ventilators, infant incubators, life support units, defibrillators and patient monitors are calibrated and properly set up.(Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, 375th Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, calibrates a patient monitor and defibrillator at the 375th Medical group Clinic, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Jan. 11, 2019. As a member of the 375th Medical Equipment Repair Center, McGhee ensures equipment is calibrated and properly set up in efforts to take care of patients when they come into the hospital, ensuring the equipment serves its purpose. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, 375th Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, calibrates a patient monitor and defibrillator at the 375th Medical group Clinic, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Jan. 11, 2019. As a member of the 375th Medical Equipment Repair Center, McGhee ensures equipment is calibrated and properly set up in efforts to take care of patients when they come into the hospital, ensuring the equipment serves its purpose. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, 375th Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, repairs a dermatologic laser at the 375th Medical group Clinic, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Jan. 11, 2019. Without the 375th Medical Equipment Repair Center being at Scott, the base would have to rely on contractors or other bases to maintain the equipment, which could lengthen the process by weeks. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, 375th Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, repairs a dermatologic laser at the 375th Medical group Clinic, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Jan. 11, 2019. Without the 375th Medical Equipment Repair Center being at Scott, the base would have to rely on contractors or other bases to maintain the equipment, which could lengthen the process by weeks. (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Deep in the basement of the 375th Medical Group, behind a series of doors and out of the way of most hospital traffic, is a long, narrow room that looks like an old high-school “shop class.”

Bits and pieces of broken defibrillators and other medical gear sit on workbenches, waiting to be fixed by 11 technicians who call the workshop home.

The technicians who work here belong to the 375th Medical Support Squadron’s Medical Equipment Repair Center—commonly referred to as MERC. It is one of only a few centers scattered throughout the Air Force qualified to repair and maintain life-saving medical equipment.

“We do annual and frequent maintenance whether it’s inspecting (the equipment) for damage, doing calibrations or doing preventative maintenance,” said Senior Airman Brian Howard, a biomedical equipment technician.

The center has specific criteria for all equipment it sees, which includes vital patient movement items such as ventilators, infant incubators, life support units, defibrillators and patient monitors. The MERC team makes sure the equipment fits that criteria before it is put to use.

Along with the equipment in the clinic, the MERC also maintains automatic external defibrillators across the base, making sure they function properly in an emergency situation.

Without the MERC being at Scott, the base would have to rely on contractors or other bases to maintain the equipment, which could lengthen the process by weeks, said Howard.

“We expedite the process because we are right here on base ready for everyone.”

As a MERC, the facility oversees a 13-state region throughout the Midwest, assisting other bases in maintaining their equipment.

“We go on three separate annual TDYs [temporary duty] helping out smaller active duty and reserve bases that don’t have the training, the manning, or the equipment necessary to do that maintenance,” said Howard. “We coordinate with those custodians at those bases and shops to train them up or mainly provide maintenance on their X-ray units because they don’t have the capability to do it themselves.”

Airman 1st Class Jason McGhee, biomedical equipment technician, said that the MERC is the “go-to” for any of the additional questions other bases may have, and he enjoys being able to travel out to them when he can.

“It’s cool working day-to-day and getting the information you need hands-on in the clinic,” said McGhee, “But actually getting to go to new places, meeting new people and doing more complex equipment is definitely a huge step up.”

Howard said that the sense of accomplishment he feels when fixing something and knowing the importance of being a biomedical equipment technician is what makes the job enjoyable.

“My old supervisor put it to me this way when I was a brand new Airman coming in ... he didn’t realize the importance of the job until the infant incubator that he had just calibrated was being used on his son. The work we do could potentially harm someone if we don’t do it right, so we make sure we do!”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AFEnergy: If you don't measure progress, you can't affect change. #FuelMoreFight #MondayMotivation https://t.co/80sg3un0ov
The latest roundup of the best #AirForce photos is out. See them here: https://t.co/wU5rxsXJRq https://t.co/JUE9Yd0cKS
RT @WarriorCare: Have you missed some of the action? Check out our photo gallery on Flickr and get caught up on your favorite athlete makin…
#USAF Critical Care Air Transport team members, transport mother & 7-month-old son on a #C130 flight from… https://t.co/o1aNSelM1t
RT @DOD_Outreach: Pedaling on! @usairforce Capt. Heather Wright races an upright bicycle during the #DOD #WarriorGames2019 today. This is t…
#DYK, @WrightPattAFB became a Bee City in 2017, solidifying #AirForce's commitment to bee protection and revitaliza… https://t.co/jnoUyjQTiY
RT @ActingSecAF: Today the ⁦@usairforce⁩ has a historic opportunity to continue our leadership in #space & secure the final frontier for ou…
RT @DOD_Outreach: Feel the calm. 😌 @AFW2 Tech Sgt. Ricardo Rivera practices his freestyle swim techniques for today’s competition at the @…
#WarriorGames2019 Track competition is happening NOW! 🏃‍♂️💨 Head over https://t.co/jiYSkUGhmB to see it LIVE. GO… https://t.co/E2pYScoZSC
RT @WarriorCare: This isn’t your average morning run! Day 2 has started with Track competitions. We’re here at Yuengling Center at the Univ…
Our hearts go out to #TuskegeeAirman Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert J. Friend and his family. Thank you for decades of serv… https://t.co/CUHadFr0sC
“So far, as a wing, we’ve made all this look easy. But it hasn’t been." - Maj. Michael Slotten, 421st Fighter Squad… https://t.co/7YQnJV9yel
RT @WarriorCare: The weather is hot in Tampa. Perfect for a new 2019 Warrior Games competition: Golf 🏌️‍♀️ First on the greens is Staff Sgt…
.@AF_SMC's summer is booked with four back to back launch missions. Use #SummerOfLaunch19 to track their progress… https://t.co/9LsEMIvsaf
.@TeamEglin shows how "hot pitting" helps fuel the fight in real time. https://t.co/zIQUT2v9vj
RT @ActingSecAF: Being a good leader means caring for Airmen. Hearing how @GenDaveGoldfein has continued to take care of those who answered…
RT @DeptofDefense: “You inspire me!” Captain Marvel herself, @BrieLarson shares words of encouragement to the athletes of the upcoming @Wa
RT @ActingSecAF: Merci beaucoup to our gracious host & close ally France for bringing together countries from around the world to showcase…