Andersen medics decrease response time with new medical response team
More than 60 medical Airmen from Andersen Air Force Base, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and Yokota Air Base, Japan, joined together to train on the new Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) Health Response Team (HRT) on Andersen Dec. 10-13.
EMEDS is a team of expertly-trained medical professionals who utilize a mobile tent hospital to support the needs of the emergency responders. The team is able to handle most aspects of emergency medical care, including surgery and trauma.
The 36th Medical Group (MDG) current EMEDS basic capabilities can be used to provide prevention, acute intervention, primary care and dental service to a population of 1,500 to 3,000 people, and additional capabilities have been added to the new EMEDS HRT system.
The 36th MDG is one of 10 Air Force units that will be replacing the old EMEDS basic with the new system. In the past, the 36th MDG could use the basic system to respond to its humanitarian assistance rapid response team, but the new EMEDS HRT will improve the group’s response time due to its leaner, faster and more effective design.
“The EMEDS basic originally used Alaskan shelters that were bulkier and took longer to set up,”said Maj. Ryan Gabel, Air Combat Command training cadre from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. “The new tents are lighter and one tent can be completely built with electricity in about 30 minutes.”
The tents are not the only upgrade to the system. With capability in mind, the EMEDS HRT system is packed to ensure the most important capability is readily available when deployment is needed.
“The basic system packed supplies to benefit movement of the EMEDS,” Gabel continued. “But the EMEDS HRT system is packed to ensure that important capabilities are available quicker. The emergency room can now be set up and running within two hours.”
Along with participating personnel, trainers from Air Combat Command and U.S. Pacific Command traveled to Andersen to assist with the new equipment set up.
“We are out here to help them familiarize with the new equipment,” Gabel said. “We can go through the setup step-by-step to ensure everyone knows how to do it correctly.”
For one week, Pacific Air Forces medics worked together setting up the EMEDS HRT system, stocking it with medical supplies and even treating simulated patients.
“The team was very motivated during the training,“ Gabel said. “They were enthusiastic about learning the new equipment and process. They did a great job and gave us feedback that we can carry back to make the new system even better.”