FRANKLIN, Ind. – Indiana National Guard troops from the 38th Infantry Division trained how to properly transport patients, supporting the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By working with the civilian hospitals and state agencies, it really shows that we as National Guard soldiers are in support of the community and the state of Indiana,” said 2nd Lt. Ryan Ball, medical service officer with the 113th Brigade Support Battalion.
The exercise at the Johnson County Armory April 16 prepared Guard men and women to assist the ISDH and IDHS for patient transport missions supported by the 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry, 1st Battalion, 152nd Cavalry, 2nd Battalion, 152nd Infantry, 1st Battalion, 163rd Field Artillery and the 113th Brigade Support Battalion.
The training included proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and self-decontamination procedures.
“This training is extremely important because it is preparation for an actual pandemic by understanding PPE requirements and [Soldiers] preventing infection to themselves and others,” said Ball.
Troops learned multiple methods of the safe loading, unloading and transportation of medical patients via field litter ambulances equipped with a litter rail extension system. Soldiers also trained on thorough decontamination procedures to return vehicles to a mission-ready status
following a medical transport.
“This exercise will better prepare us for future operations since COVID-19 was unexpected,” said Ball. “All the procedures we created and developed set a framework for future unknown missions.”
Soldiers and Airmen in the Indiana National Guard train in many critical exercises to maintain readiness should the governor, the state of Indiana or the nation need assistance.