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Civilian partnerships provide key readiness training for 167th medics

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle
  • 167th Airlift Wing

MARTINSBURG, 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 in Morgantown, W.Va., 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 4N’s short for their Air Force Specialty Code, garnered experience with hemorrhage control, thermal injuries, blunt force injuries, neurological injuries, mechanical ventilation and more.

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

Additionally, the 4N’s received canine training at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital, preparing them to assess, from head to toe, 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. We’ll see what we can improve upon to keep this relationship lasting as long as possible,” said Law who provided command oversight for the Airmen during their training.

“It has been my absolute pleasure observing the 4N’s excel in their training and working with the staff at WVU medicine and Dr. Meade at Cheat Lake Animal Hospital,” Law said.