48th MDG concludes realistic exercise
By Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 29, 2018
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
When disaster strikes, most people only see the carnage of the initial attack. Rarely does anyone see the controlled chaos that takes place in the hospital during the aftermath.
This is the scenario the 48th Medical Group is focused on during a continued field training exercise featuring a mass-casualty chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive scenario conducted here March 21.
The first part of the exercise was conducted Feb. 21 and focused on the initial CBRNE response the 48th MDG and the 48th Bioenvironmental Flight responded to the scenario where they were tasked to work together to triage patients, transport them to the hospital and identify any radiological threats.
“The first exercise in February incorporated more of a field response team,” said Maj. Krystal LaBonte, 48th MDG officer in charge of the outpatient pharmacy and co-lead of the wing inspection team. “This exercise utilized all of the teams within the medical group.”
Picking up where the previous training scenario left off, the 48th MDG began taking patients into the hospital for treatment once they arrived from the initial scene.
Soon the area was packed with patients with simulated injuries and medical personnel rushing to provide assistance. On the perimeter, evaluators intently monitored each of the movements and decisions of the 48th MDG Airmen.
“This exercise was to evaluate how we would do in a real world response,” said Tech. Sgt. Melanie Whiting, the 48th MDG clinical laboratory and pathology flight chief. “So when situations like this do happen, we can do what we’re here to do, which is to take care of the patients and ensure they survive.”
As the patients arrived, they were evaluated by triage and hospital security teams then sent to the decontamination tent. Once decontaminated, they were evaluated on the severity of their injuries.
From there they were admitted to the hospital where they were categorized and dispersed to various sections depending on their injuries.
“We haven’t gone full spectrum like this in a very long time,” LaBonte said. “Everyone knew their role and everyone knew the role they played was significant. The communication across the board was very impressive.”
Nearly every department of the hospital was involved in the exercise and had their own set of objectives to complete while also working as a team.