State University partners with Joint Task Force Aide to support the COVID-19 mission
By Sgt. Leia Tascarini , 107th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
/ Published April 20, 2020
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. --
Florida National Guard doctors, nurses and medics joined Florida International University (FIU) at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) to conduct refresher training in preparation of potentially receiving patients at the MBCC alternate care facility.
The Guard partnered with the university to provide “just in time training” so that providers from different specialties could refresh their knowledge in several areas, including proper personal protective equipment wear, medical procedures and several other necessary tasks that that are specific to the COVID-19 response.
“We came to an agreement based on needs so that everyone would be on the same page due to providers being from different backgrounds, like primary care providers and flight medics,” said Henry Henao, Director of the Simulation Teaching and Research Center at FIU. “Working with the Guard has been an honor and everyone has been really appreciative and understanding of what we are trying to accomplish here.”
FIU had several members of their staff and students volunteer from the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences to partner with the Florida Guard. FIU has partnered with the Guard during other missions as well such as Exercise Patriot Sands, a joint-service emergency and natural disaster response exercise.
Each refresher station lasted 30 minutes and concentrated on a specific topic like cardiopulmonary resuscitation and complete emergency situations with a lifelike simulation dummy which can be worked on medically as if it were a real patient.
“We all have various skill sets and our goal is to form teams to be completely prepared to accept patients,” said Florida Air Guard Lt. Col. Kevin Fitzgerald, 125th Fighter Wing flight surgeon. “FIU did an excellent job putting this refresher together, they are all volunteers and it’s amazing that they came to teach us what they know to help us keep their community safe.”
The Florida National Guard has more than 2,300 Guardsmen on duty in support of Florida’s COVID-19 response. Soldiers and Airmen are currently operating nine Community Based Testing Sites locations, and have administered over 50,000 sample collections to date at those sites. In addition, the Guard is deploying Mobile Testing Teams to carry out COVID-19 testing at assisted living communities and is supporting the Florida Department of Health’s screening operations at seven Florida airports.