FORT McCOY, Wis. –
An injured Soldier only cares about being treated, not what component the medic claims. In that spirit, medics from the Minnesota National Guard’s 204th Medical Company Ambulance Support and the U.S. Army Reserve’s 303rd and 325th Field Hospitals conducted a joint training mission June 16, 2021, here.
The scenario called for 204th MCAS medics to serve as the responding caregivers to an incident in a field environment and provide role two, or emergency level, care. From there, the medics triaged and stabilized the patients before transporting them back to a role three field hospital operated by the 303rd and 325th Field Hospital units. A role three facility is a fully staffed hospital equipped to provide care for all categories of patients.
“I’ve seen really great teamwork. These things definitely take a lot of coordination, especially as you have the patients going from one location to another and then from one department to another,” said 1st Lt. Sontaya Golliday, a health services administrator and also acting commander of the 303rd Field Hospital. “I also think that there’s a benefit in us working with a unit that we haven’t work with before. You may be put in those situations where you have to adapt and you have to work as a team.”
As a training exercise, this allows Soldiers to fill roles they were either unfamiliar with in order to gain experience.
“We don’t always get to do those day to day and stay fresh on those skills,” Golliday said. “Some people do the same job in the civilian space others do not. What I’m really looking for here is for them to get that practical experience and get to put those skills to work.”
For those who work in the medical field beyond just the traditional battle assembly schedule, this was an opportunity to pass on their skills.
“I’ve enjoyed teaching,” said Maj. Daniel Barnes, an internist with the 325th Field Hospital, who works and emergency room doctor in Missouri. “A lot of people in the military are working as medics but they don’t do that in the civilian world. So, getting to teach a little bit of medical procedures and how we go about things. Not just do that, but this is why we do it and either help them in the Army or their civilian careers as they go on. It’s fun for me to be able to do some teaching.”
Barnes said that education is not a one-way street.
“I learn from them, too,” he said. “Some of the medic stuff we don’t do it the same way in the civilian world. So it’s nice to see. I really enjoy that.”
As the last of the simulated casualties progressed through the field hospital, the Soldiers cleaned up the supplies and prepared to go through another iteration, all in the name of getting better at their jobs.
“It’s a really great opportunity for them to get that experience in a role three hospital and also for us to be able to simulate that patient flow as we receive those patients coming from a role two as well,” Golliday said.