The upgraded Expeditionary Medical Support System
By Staff Sgt. Steve Stanley, Air Combat Command Public Affairs
/ Published February 19, 2014
Langley Air Force Base, Va. -- The Langley AFB 633rd Medical Group partnered with teams from the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) to test new equipment for the Expeditionary Medical Support (EMEDS) system 3 - 7 February, 2014.
EMEDS is comprised of a variety of modular, medical response packages and equipment that can be used in multiple geographical operations and situations such as wartime contingencies, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.
The EMEDS team is equipped and staffed to provide forward stabilization, primary care, dental services, and force health protection and is continuously looking to improve their equipment and processes.
The event spearheaded by ACC/SGX demonstrated the latest block changes of the EMEDS Health Response Team (HRT) through EMEDS +25. Teams were trained and given hands on experience on the quick erect, single-skin, collectively protected shelters as well as numerous other medical equipment enhancements.
"This is a proof of concept pilot to show the operational concept of the new collective protected tent system," said Col. Tom Erchinger, chief of general surgery, 59th Medical Wing, SAMMC. "It will prove it is a functional, efficient modular unit for mobile field surgical and critical care teams."
The larger tents are equipped with lighter frames requiring only four people to set up the structure in less than 30 minutes. Collective Protection is achieved with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear resistant material and over-pressurization via filtered air blower systems.
"The work flow is similar to the old process, so there is not much of a learning curve," said Maj. Michael Krier, associate program director, 59th Medical Wing, SAMMC. "[We are] able to 'kick the tires' with the new equipment, and get out in the field and ensure that we are able to take care of folks."
"It's good to have people that know how this goes when it's time to deploy," said Senior Airman Rebekah Barron, respiratory therapist at SAMMC.
Barron is training people on a new ventilator with pressure support while getting hands on experience with the new tent set up. She is deploying soon and said she can take what she learned here and apply it to the new environment.
"It's better than any [computer based training] CBT because this is what you do in the real world," said Master Sgt. Alison Lambert, NCOIC, Medical Materiel, Langley AFB. "We need to be familiar with the equipment and interact with the other section team members to learn new skills."
Joint Service members and partners from Ft. Eustis and the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Va., visited the EMEDS location to get a chance to see if they can incorporate the modernization of the new tent systems and equipment into their expeditionary operations.
"Folks that are new to the exercise, get a chance to experience the austere environment and get hands on training," said Col. Joann Frye, EMEDS Expeditionary Medical Group commander, Langley AFB. "It's of great value to replicate the deployed environment and prove that the tent structure and pressurized system works."