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New Hampshire Airmen Train in Medical Center Emergency Room

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Victoria Nelson,
  • 157th Air Refueling Wing

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. – During a recent training opportunity, Staff Sgt. Dustin Allison, an aerospace medic with the 157th Medical Group, was a part of the buzz in the Catholic Medical Center’s busy Manchester Emergency Department.

Every day, the CMC team cares for patients, young and old, from all walks of life. They work through language barriers, cultural differences and preferences, and health backgrounds. The partnership opens that dynamic environment to New Hampshire Air National Guard medics, who may not otherwise have the exposure.

“This is my first time in an ER,” Allison said. “The first day, one patient came in coughing up blood. Here in the hospital, it’s not just, ‘Treat the patient and move on.’ There’s a whole psychological piece as well. Being a part of that to help the patient to stay calm and get through that scary moment was really meaningful.”

Kevin Drew, CMC emergency department director, said Allison was a very collaborative team member and immersed himself in the experience.

“Every time I went to check in, he was helping a patient with the nurses and the techs,” said Drew. “He is in starting IVs, doing EKGs, working on assessment skills, helping with splinting and CPR. He is right in the mix of everything from patient arrival.”

Allison is the third Pease medic to participate in the training affiliation agreement between the New Hampshire Air National Guard and CMC.

The partnership provides an extra set of hands in the hospital’s emergency department and offers the Airmen real-world training with industry partners on more than 100 critical skill-based responsibilities.

“We really appreciate having him with the team,” said Brigid Bifsha, emergency room educator with CMC. “He’s been able to jump right in.”

Every Air Force medic is licensed by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and can execute designated tasks under the supervision of the CMC staff. As a result, they are ready for anything.

“When I was an Army medic, everything we saw was trauma,” said Drew. “But here it could be cardiology, psych, orthopedics, trauma, behavioral health, you name it. You never know who is going to walk through the door.”

The hospital employees and the Guardsmen serve missions to better their state and community.

“Both organizations are built from members of the community and our missions are focused on keeping our community safe,” said Drew. “This is taking care of our community. This is home. To be able to get the training locally makes all the difference.”