Mass Casualty Exercise

Airmen from the 419th Medical Squadron look for exit wounds on the victim of a simulated explosion during a recent mass casualty exercise at Hill Air Force Base. MDS personnel regularly undergo intensive training to treat these types of injuries so they are ready to do so in a deployed environment.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Members of the 419th Medical Squadron recently participated in a mass casualty training exercise here to simulate caring for victims of traumatic injuries similar to those they may encounter in a deployed combat environment.

“We try to make our training as real as possible,” said Staff Sgt. Kathleen Gonzales, NCO of emergency medical technician training for the 419th MDS. “It’s crucial that our Airmen are ready for real-world scenarios no matter where they may be.”

The medical teams treated mock casualties who had suffered a heart attack, lost a limb, or been injured by an explosion. Each group worked together to find the best way to treat the wounded Airmen based on the circumstances of the scenario, Gonzales said.

“Practicing our quick response skills is a crucial part of our job,” said Maj. Zaid Fadul, a flight surgeon in the 419th MDS. “Exercises like this allow us to work together in situations that can’t be predicted.”

Reservists train at least one weekend a month and two weeks per year, and are required to maintain the same readiness standards as active-duty Airmen.

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