Medical technician aids rescue team

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf
  • 673rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Jumping out of C-130s, rappelling out of helicopters, and saving lives are all in a day's work for the pararescuemen of the 212th Rescue Squadron here.

The 212th RS members have 56 saves this year, and Tech. Sgt. Darrell Mathieu, the squadron's individual duty medical technician, plays a key role in that success. He does everything from logistics to training, and holds classes to teach the pararescuemen how to properly use their equipment.

Mathieu is a tactical combat casualty care instructor and a CPR instructor. He holds additional medical certifications in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support. He's also a nationally registered paramedic.

"As an IDMT, I have to be very versatile and make do with what medications I'm given and use what equipment I have to make the mission work," Mathieu said.

"Everything is very improvisational," he continued. "They come to me and say, 'This is what we need.' I look at what we have and say, 'Here's what we got; let's make it work.'"

Because the pararescue business can get rough, Mathieu also diagnoses and treats injured members of his team. Mathieu runs his team through training scenarios until they're comfortable and proficient at treating patients.

"He is constantly seeking out ways for us to make us better," saidMaster Sgt. Roger Sparks, a 212th RS pararescueman.

Mathieu is knowledgeable in clinical medicine and he incorporates that knowledge into the unit's training, Sparks said.

"He is the bridge between clinical medicine and elite trauma medicine," Sparks added.

Mathieu is required to be mobile and provide support in places that may not have medical facilities. He said he's worked with U.S. joint forces and troops from other nations.

Mathieu said he enjoys his job tremendously.

"It is so rewarding to support pararescuemen when there is a constant, direct reflection of your work on a daily basis," he said.