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NEWS | May 23, 2022

West Virginia Air Guard medics conduct trauma training

By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle, 167th Airlift Wing, West Virginia Air National Guard

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Five aerospace medical service personnel assigned to the 167th Medical Group completed 40 hours of trauma training at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital May 16-20.

Working alongside critical care nurses and trauma nurses, the Airmen, whose roles are part licensed practical nurse and part emergency medical technician, received hands-on experience in the hospital’s intensive care units and the emergency department.

“This is a level I trauma hospital. The patients that are coming in are acutely ill. The training is intense, but it’s what we need to be prepared to deploy,” said Lt. Col. Sarah Law, 167th Medical Group chief nurse. “Our medics are assisting, hands-on, within their scope of practice.”

The Airmen, also referred to as 4Ns for their Air Force specialty code, garnered experience with hemorrhage control, thermal, blunt force and neurological injuries, and mechanical ventilation.

“The finely tuned skills that the 4Ns will come away with will have a lasting impact on the Air National Guard,” Law said.

Additionally, the 4Ns received canine training at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital to prepare them to assess U.S. military working dogs.

“Dr. Jean Meade from Cheat Lake Animal Hospital welcomed us with open arms and was very thorough. [They] educated our members with more than enough hands-on experience to know how to confidently handle canines,” Law said.

The training is the first iteration of a training affiliation agreement (TAA) established between the West Virginia Air National Guard and J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. A TAA is a no-cost, legal agreement for training between two or more institutions with a program recognized by a national accrediting agency. More rotations are planned through the summer to accommodate the 40-hour biennial requirement for the medics.

“We are taking notes, learning and will continue to smooth out this program with each rotation that comes through,” Law said. “We’ll see what we can improve upon to keep this relationship lasting as long as possible.”