NEWS | June 23, 2021

188th Medical Group completes casualty care training

By Capt. Dylan Hollums, 188th Wing

EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. – Twenty-one Arkansas Air National Guard Airmen from the 188th Medical Group completed an intensive Tactical Combat Casualty Care course June 3-4.

The training involved airway management, tourniquet application, wound bandaging, and various stretcher-carrying techniques. Students learned to work together and, with their civilian counterparts, in small-team structures, to stress the importance of communication.

The course was taught by Rescue Task Force, a civilian team specializing in integrating disaster response, emergency medicine and limited resource trauma management training with first responders and military personnel.

“We take a crawl, walk, run approach to training,” said Edwin Lard, Rescue Task Force program manager. “At RTF, we pride ourselves on reality-based immersion training, taught by combat-proven educators with decades of overseas expertise.”

Day One started with Federal Emergency Management Agency classroom certifications, CPR and burn-victim stabilization, and gunshot wound bandaging in an active-shooter exercise. As the sun set, the students started night-time search and recovery in natural disaster scenarios. Airmen recovered simulated victims from tornado-damaged houses, confined spaces, and buildings destroyed by fire.

“This will help us improve our crisis reaction time,” said Master Sgt. Marcus R. Floyd, 188th Medical Group training manager. “We worked on shaving off lifesaving seconds during the critical golden hour to help us mitigate injuries or further loss of life.”

The second day of training began with mass-casualty recovery triage training with motor-vehicle accident versus train simulations and an aircraft crash site. At the end of the day, they started a “sprinting” stage that culminated in air evacuations with two helicopters from Mercy Medical and Air Evac Lifeteam.

The skills learned are not just applicable in a military career field, according to Senior Airman Andrew Puckett, 188th aerospace medical technician. “I can apply this to my civilian career as a medic on movie sets if a stuntman breaks a leg or suffers from heat exhaustion. I wouldn’t have the credentials to work in movies if it wasn’t for this job.”

“Will our Airmen apply the skills learned this weekend in a military setting? Of course, but more importantly, we are preparing them to respond to real-life emergencies in their local community,” said Floyd, who is also a training captain with the Fort Smith Fire Department.

The 188th Wing will host another TCCC course in September for Air National Guard wings from Oklahoma and Missouri.