319th RW Airmen partner with UND medical professionals for hand on training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Phyllis Jimenez
  • 319th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

Many units on Grand Forks Air Force Base maintain a working relationship with their civilian counterparts from the local community. Most recently Airmen from several different units within the 319th Reconnaissance Wing participated in a simulated first aid and triage training under the direction of medical professionals partnered through the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Simulation Center.

With the help of mannequins, actors and civilian medical instructors, Airmen received classroom instruction and then rotated between three hands-on training stations with real life medical emergency scenarios.

“One station simulated a plane crash where an Airmen walked through identifying which level of triage each victim fell under, ” said Tawni Havala, University of North Dakota simulation education and mobile coordinator. “If you're first on scene, you don't need to be a medical professional to provide some level of care. In mass casualty events it's important to know not to run in and injure themselves but how to try to keep more people safe.”

Medical readiness and first-aid knowledge should not be exclusively reserved for people in the medical field. Airmen who participated in the event recognized how beneficial this kind of training can be for service members regardless of their career field.

“It doesn't matter whether or not you are a first responder, more people should participate in this type of training,” said Senior Airman Eun Seo, 319th Medical Group aerospace medical technician. “If you're on the scene and have the basic knowledge of how to handle these situations, you can help save more lives.”

The training also continued to strengthen the relationship between members of Grand Forks AFB and the city of Grand Forks.

“It’s really nice to be able to come out and work with the military and to help with training,” said Havala. “It helps service members know that we'll take care of them just like they’d take care of us.”

With a 30 minute drive to the nearest hospital, it's essential for Airmen to be prepared for any situation that may arise.

“Working and training with the civilian sector synchronizes operations, so that we all understand the same language,” said Air Force Technical Sergeant Matthew Oxenfield, 319th Security Forces Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of police services. “When we understand how our civilian counterparts operate, communication becomes easier and we’re able to smoothly transition care from our first responders to their care teams.”