1SG Jesse R. Turner, Department of Aviation Medicine (DAM)
What do we do if our aircraft is unable to wait as we return with the patient(s)? What do we do during a MASCAL? These are questions we need to answer now in preparation for the future fight. At the Department of Aviation Medicine (DAM), we are continually seeking to improve training and enhance capabilities for the future fight. We now have scenarios and exercises geared toward these issues to ensure our Soldiers are ready with the tools needed to accomplish any mission in any environment. A few examples of how we’ve shifted our focus include scenarios for Prolonged Field Care and Large-Scale Combat Operation.
Over the years, our standard for patient movement has been the “Golden Hour.” We have come to a turning point in the community where we realize that one hour will not be enough. In line with these views, the DAM now includes scenarios throughout courses where patients will need to be maintained for extended periods of time with limited supplies. Our Flight Surgeon students, who will be responsible for training MEDEVAC units, are now conducting training using the Standard Medical Operating Guidelines (SMOG) while in the course. Our Flight Paramedic students are now receiving patients who have been sitting in facilities for extended periods of time prior to their arrival for transport. This training will enhance patient outcomes from Prolonged Field Care and answer the calls to duty.
One of the most difficult things to do is prepare for an event you have not experienced. Large-Scale Combat Operations (LSCO) is an example of this. Our team continues to work with the U.S. Navy, giving the rotary wing standard of care during the Joint Enroute Care Course. Also, our Cadre now work in tandem with the U.S. Air Force and their Critical Care Aeromedica0l Transport Teams (CCATT), sharing lessons learned and coordinating patient treatments aligned to best enhance interoperability for our future fight in a joint environment.