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Tennessee Air National Guard practices triage for mass casualties as part of TNMAN ’16 statewide exercise

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Leon Bussey
  • 164th Airlift Wing
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 23, 2016) - A joint Tennessee emergency response team consisting of members from the Tennessee Air National Guard's three Wings and Methodist University Hospital emergency training program personnel, responded to a mock casualty arrival scenario during the Tennessee Maneuvers 2016 exercise in Memphis on June 21.

The purpose of this casualty scenario was to train for medical emergencies that can result from a catastrophic event such as the 6.5 magnitude earthquake simulated in the TNMAN '16 exercise.

"We're here to support our community in the event of a natural disaster or civil unrest. As a medical asset, we're here to provide lifesaving medical services and air medical evacuation if needed. It's a wonderful asset here in the mid-south," said Col. Cassandra Howard, the U.S. state air surgeon for the Tennessee Air National Guard.

The joint emergency response team has the crucial task of rendering first aid and stabilizing those victims with more serious injuries for medical evacuation.

"We provide the basic emergency stabilization based on resources available and patient load," said Dr. Richard Walker, program director of the emergency medical training program at Methodist University Hospital.

The mock casualty emergency volunteers used in the scenario are members of the local civic and medical community that went through simulated injury preparation to have make-up applied to simulate realistic injuries.

"What we do is use kits to apply simulated injuries the same way you would for special effects for a movie," said Master Sgt. Thomas Crider, a support equipment supervisor with the 164th Operations Group.

A catastrophic event, such as an earthquake, can not only be devastating physically to a community, but it can be devastating and stressful mentally as well. There are some things learned during this scenario that can be done to help emergency response teams in case of an actual emergency.

"People get separated from families; not all family members are aware of their conditions," said Walker. "It's one of the simplest and cheapest things that you can do to make yourself safer is take a small card, put your medications with doses; medical diagnosis on that card, cut it out to credit card size, laminate it and stick in your wallet. That way if you come in unconscious, that can save hours, lots of dollars, lots of expense and headache and allows us to process large numbers of people very quickly," he added.

(Story by Air National Guard Senior Airman Leon Bussey, 64th Airlift Wing, Memphis, Tenn.)