Destruction fosters partnerships

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The Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing, partnered with the Tucson International Airport to give residents from Banner University Medical Center a lesson in automobile destruction during a patient extraction exercise at the airport, May 31, 2017.

The Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing, partnered with the Tucson International Airport to give residents from Banner University Medical Center a lesson in automobile destruction during a patient extraction exercise at the airport, May 31.

The residents from Banner University Medical Center’s South Campus will soon be practicing physicians, but before they complete their residency their final week, called emergency medical services week, is spent learning what emergency services personnel do before patients arrive at the emergency room.

Over a month ago firefighters from the 162nd and TIA along with partners from Banner UMC began planning a brief training for the residents.  The training turned into a full blown hands on exercise that not only introduced the residents to different tools and techniques, but gave them the opportunity to use them. 

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our residents to appreciate the expertise of our EMS providers, use some of the tools they have to extricate a patient and simply understand how challenging certain calls and conditions can be,” said Medical Director of Banner UMC’s South Campus, Dr. Daniel Beskind.  “It was an incredible hands on experience and provided them a very unique opportunity that they will carry with them during their whole career.”

After two hours of instruction, the residents suited up and put their skills to the test by demolishing a car to retrieve a patient trapped inside, utilizing medical equipment to provide proper patient care, and finally securing the patient to a back board in preparation for transport to a medical facility.

The 162nd, TIA and Banner UMC work together in various ways throughout the year, but this is the first exercise of this type conducted between the agencies.  An exercise such as this allows the sharing of knowledge and enables the Airmen at the 162nd Wing to enhance one of their core missions of building partnerships by engaging with the community.

“The doctors seemed to enjoy performing some basic extraction techniques and we were able to strengthen partnerships that are vitally important to responding to emergencies,” said Christian Christensen a paramedic with the 162nd Wing Fire Emergency Services.  “We train with the airport fire department on a regular basis, but exercises like these enable us to develop a relationship with community agencies as well.”