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Medics participate in Ultimate Caduceus 15

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. (AFNS) -- Members of the 22nd Medical Group, and units from across the U.S., participated in Ultimate Caduceus 2015, giving them the opportunity to conduct aeromedical evacuation training, April 16-18, at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Louisiana Air National Guard hosted the exercise, which involved evacuating more than 200 mannequins, people and simulated patients via a C-130J Super Hercules in the event of a hurricane.

"It was a hurricane evacuation exercise, so we practiced evacuating patients from local hospitals to areas like Arkansas, Oklahoma and other inland areas," said Tech. Sgt. Monique Roberts, the 22nd MDG unit deployment manager. "They were being brought from local hospitals and were staged in a disaster area staging facility while they awaited transportation from an aeromedical evacuation crew on a C-130. We staged them, tracked all relevant information through our tracking database then brought them to safer locations."

Roberts left the training having seen exactly what happens after a request for transport is submitted.

"I haven't seen what happens after I build the request to move a patient out of a disaster-stricken area," Roberts said. "I know how to request getting someone evacuated, but now that I've been there, I know how the mission to evacuate them gets put together."

For one member of the team of eight, it was his first experience performing his job at different location.

"It was the first time I had ever been (on a temporary duty) so it was a really cool experience for me," said Senior Airman Justin Hilty, a 22nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron aerospace medical technician. "I get a lot of training here, but I don't always get to put it into practice. I got to use litter carrying experience and load someone into the back of a C-130, which I had never done before."

In groups of 20, patients were dropped off in ambulances or busses, then were processed through a tracking database and, when available, sent off to a different location.

"My favorite part was being in the middle of everything," Hilty said. "Having the busses drop off 20 patients at a time and having six to eight people there, ready to help get the patient where they needed to go. It felt good figuring everything out. It moved nicely."

Roberts said this exercise was very beneficial and that it will help set up additional training exercise in May.

"It was good to see this exercise because next month we'll be participating in training where we'll be receiving patients that were evacuated out of an area," Roberts said. "It was interesting to see what happens on the front end of an evacuation since we'll be doing the back end work soon."

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