HomeNewsArticle Display

Al Udeid firefighters, medics prepare for mass casualty incidents

A 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter uses the Jaws of Life to take the roof off a car during an exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 15. The exercise consisted of a car accident with eight victims; two were trapped inside the car. More than 50 first responders participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

A 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter uses the Jaws of Life to take the roof off a car during an exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Dec. 15. The exercise consisted of a car accident with eight victims; two were trapped inside the car. More than 50 first responders participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

Firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron take the roof off of a car during an exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 15. The exercise consisted of a car accident with eight victims; two were trapped inside the car. More than 50 first responders participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

Firefighters assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron take the roof off of a car during an exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Dec. 15. The exercise consisted of a car accident with eight victims; two were trapped inside the car. More than 50 first responders participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

Staff Sgt. Brittany Niemi, 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron, provides care for a victim of a mock car accident in the Blatchford-Preston Complex Clinic during an exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar Dec. 15. All patients were transported to the clinic where they received emergency medical treatment. More than 50 first responders participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

Staff Sgt. Brittany Niemi, of the 379th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron, provides care for a victim of a mock car accident in the Blatchford-Preston Complex Clinic during an exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Dec. 15. All patients were transported to the clinic where they received emergency medical treatment. More than 50 first responders participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) -- A car is driving down the road when suddenly the driver loses control and crashes. Eight people are seriously injured in the wreck and several suffer life-threatening injuries. The driver and passenger are still trapped inside.

This was the scene as 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters and 379th Expeditionary Medical Group medics responded Dec. 15 to a mass casualty exercise at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Firefighters and emergency medical technicians responded within minutes and quickly went to work. As a team of firefighters used the Jaws of Life to rescue the two trapped in the car, EMTs started caring for crash victims lying on the ground.

Crash victims suffered injuries from broken bones and open wounds to impaled objects. Each one was swiftly transported to the Blatchford-Preston Complex Clinic where they received emergency medical treatment.

Exercises like this are vital to ensuring first responders are ready when needed, said Master Sgt. Robert Poole, the 379th EMDG en route patient staging facility flight chief.

“Since firefighters and EMTs are emergency responders, it’s imperative that we work together as a team, both with the initial response and with treating our patients so they can get the care they need,” Poole said.

Exercise planners said the purpose of the training scenario was to test the joint response team in three areas: communication, patient movement and the ability to respond jointly with firefighters and EMTs.

“We wanted to test our capabilities in several areas, especially with patient movement,” Poole said.

Properly triaging patients and getting them to the care they need quickly is critical, said Lt. Col. John Bruun, the 379th EMDG trauma czar and commander of the 379th EMDG’s Mobile Field Surgical Team One.

“It’s essential we practice these capabilities, while people may have good medical training we need to ensure they know how to deal with a trauma system,” Bruun said.

An important element to managing mass trauma events is properly tracking patient movement, Bruun said.

“It’s important everyone understands the flow of traffic and for everyone to know their assigned roles,” he said. “This means ensuring patients are labeled appropriately so we know who they are and where they go, knowing which patients are in the emergency room and when we move them to the operating room. If the OR becomes overwhelmed, knowing what becomes the secondary OR and when to initiate life flights is also vital.”

During the exercise, more than 50 members of the 379th EMDG sprang into action. Medical teams quickly triaged patients and made decisions on the level of care those patients needed. A team of Airmen tracked patient movement and kept the medical staff informed on every patient move.

Bruun said he’s proud of how well his Airmen performed.

“Exercises like this are chaotic and it’s a team effort to react properly,” he said. “Point of injury coordination between our EMTs and the fire department was great. Our teams transported patients and communicated well and the immediate care the patients received was done properly and the triage decision making was good.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @thejointstaff: #DYK today marks the 70th anniversary of the Chairmanship? Watch recently discovered footage from the historic swearing…
This week really flew by fast. Be sure to #Follow, #Like & #RT our @AFThunderbirds for more info on the premiere a… https://t.co/5BM8N7sZTR
RT @AFSpace: Chief Towberman, AFSPC Command Chief, knows the importance of recharging, and implements it in his work-life balance. @AF_SMC
RT @AETCommand: What happened in #LasVegas...will help foster a culture of collaboration & innovation in the #USAF: the July 23 @AFWERX Fus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: It was absolutely impressive getting a first-hand look at the mission and innovative efforts of the 15th Wing’s Sky Wa…
.@EielsonAirForce Red Flag-Alaska is a series of @PACAF commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. & part… https://t.co/0bKkyvsVf9
RT @US_Stratcom: #24/7 #AlwaysReady 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron #Airmen work together to #GetErDone. #CombatReadyForc
RT @DeptofDefense: Cockpit view. Press ▶️ to ride along with the crew of an F-15 Strike Eagle from RAF Lakenheath, England 🇬🇧. The @48Figh
Exercise Agile Lightning concludes after showcasing agile operations essential to the defense of U.S. assets and p… https://t.co/vVR32kvtaP
What innovative way would you like to ease your job and the jobs of other Airmen? #InnovativeAF #USAFhttps://t.co/fKqcPisybt
RT @HAFB: Workers at #HillAFB recently installed the last of 173 new wings on A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, finalizing a project that began…
RT @AFWERX: HAPPENING NOW: We're hosting the first-ever @usairforce #SparkCollider. Tune in live: https://t.co/gTKMNPM9fK https://t.co/xIlJ…
RT @EdwardsAFB: Fix these broken wings – part fabrication saves Air Force time, money - https://t.co/UCvLQ0fAqy #ForTheWarfighter #TheCente
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: I don't have a solution. There is no checklist. I just know finding the answers starts with listening to our Airmen. L…
#USAF's visit to the #MotorCity is almost here. Listen in as this hometown #Airman shares her experience growing up… https://t.co/h9aeMYwOhR
RT @seattletimes: Dorothy Olsen, of University Place, was one of the members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), the long-unrecog…
RT @374AirliftWing: The presence of U.S. military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance personnel and assets further contributes t…