Air Force SpecOp Medics Take Lessons From New England Rescuers

Eight paramedics from Air Force Special Operations converged on Pittsburg.


 
 

CLAIRE LYNCH, The Union Leader | | Tuesday, February 15, 2011


A team of eight paramedics from Air Force Special Operations converged on Pittsburg earlier this month as part of a special winter training session for the 103rd Rescue Squadron of the 106th Rescue Wing of Long Island, New York.

Joined by about 20 volunteers from the Pittsburg, Colebrook and Beecher Falls, Vt., fire departments as well as the 45th Parallel Emergency Medical Services of Colebrook, the group traveled by snowmobile to the Cedar Stream area for a mock mass casualty incident that included three victims, two from a snowmobile accident, and a third, buried in the snow from an apparent avalanche.

"This trip was about getting our young rescue men with people who know what they're doing and are more proficient with snowmobile rescue," said Master Sgt. Jules Roy, who led the group's operation along with Pittsburg Fire Chief Kevin Lassonde.

The exercise came together quickly, he said, and was planned a few weeks prior while the team was in Oahu, Hawaii, training in 45-foot waves off the North Shore. From victim rescue in deep water to victim rescue in deep snow, the men were in Pittsburg to learn how to handle backcountry rescue operations as well how to operate snowmachines with proficiency.

The team, which is also dubbed the 103rd Hallmark Red, came together in the early 1970s, Roy said, with the intention of being the best at rescue.

The unit -- featured in the movie "The Perfect Storm" -- is represented by a Cheshire cat, and conducts rescue operations as a back-up to the U.S. Coast Guard. Many of the incidents that the 103rd responds to, Roy said, includes back-country plane and helicopter crashes.

While previous snow training has been conducted in Montana, recently the unit opted to look in New England for a more convenient location that could be used annually. It is the intention for unit members to return to Pittsburg for additional training using helicopters.

The next operation will include the dropping of two men from a HC-130 helicopter straddling snowmachines.

"We'd like to come up next year and drop a snowmobile on the lake," Roy said, explaining that a drop zone would need to be surveyed.

The team gathered at the Pittsburg Fire Station to be introduced to the local volunteers as well as survey rescue equipment used by the departments. Roy and Lt. Vieira coordinated with chiefs Kevin Lassonde of the Pittsburg Fire Department, Steve Young of the Beecher Falls Fire Department, Brett Brooks of the Colebrook Fire Department, and Interim Chief Michelle Hyde of the 45th Parallel EMS for the next day's schedule and scenarios.

Roy and Vieira worked with Lassonde to set up the drill about two miles away.

Traveling in three groups, the teams converged on the location and set to work helping the three victims. EMT Rosalie King, of Pittsburg, who played the part of a victim suffering from hypothermia, allowed herself to be packaged into a rescue sled and reported her experience at the end.

Meanwhile, a second group assisted a dummy, which was reportedly suffering from a broken leg caused by a snowmachine accident, and a third used a beacon to show rescuers where a dummy was buried in the snow.

"We are pretending that it is out in the backcountry and that extended scene care is required," Roy said. "We are discouraging the scoop and run, to learn more from the local firefighters and EMS who are familiar with this type of work."

Following the exercise, the group came together, comparing notes on the procedures that were used, and what changes to make.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, rescue, training, search and rescue, military, military EMS

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >