By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
50 Space Wing Public Affairs
The 21st Medical Squadron and Schriever Fire Department volunteered to help support the SkyFall mass casualty exercise May 8 at the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Schriever teams helped make up the 1,000 participants from 46 Colorado Springs agencies.
The 21 MDS field response team, or FRT, consisted of a doctor, nurse, two medical technicians and an administrative person. The squadron was one of two base agencies who volunteered to treat simulated crash victims. The members worked alongside local medical personnel from the area, treating and escorting patients to local area hospitals.
Staff Sgt. Denny Williams, 21st Medical Squadron and one of the team’s members, tracked 170 injured patients on scene and ensured their arrival to medical centers.
“We participated as part of the base’s FRT. We helped treat everything from burns to missing limbs,” said Williams. “We were prepared and we worked well with everyone else involved.”
The team was hand selected by Col. Brent Sonday, 21 MDS commander.
“I decided who composes the field response team based on experience and who can work well in a stressful atmosphere,” said Sonday. “Their training is extremely vital; they are our first responders in a catastrophic event.”
The Schriever Fire Department also sent a team to participate in the exercise providing assistance to extinguish any fires caused by the crash.
Robert Finley, Schriever Fire Department assistant chief of training, participated in the day’s events that included a simulated aircraft crash, victims in moulage and rescue crews training how to best handle this type of incident.
Sonday said the exercise gave the 21 MDS team practice but also the opportunity to work and learn from the other medical teams.
“The local civilian teams were very impressed when they watched our team working hands on in the field treating patients,” said Sonday.
The full-scale exercise is conducted every three years to comply with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.
“I’m very proud of the team and their growth. They’ve have been successfully involved in many exercises and this one was no exception,” said Sonday.