Company G, 1st Battalion, 111th General Service Aviation Battalion, hosted a National Guard Bureau-funded recertification course March 5-18 for seven Critical Care flight paramedics. The intensive 14-day course, open to Army National Guard flight medics, incorporated medical manikins and Company G’s specialized aviation medicine equipment kits into learning scenarios.
“The high-fidelity manikins are computer-controlled, full-body manikins that have the ability to simulate human body functions at a high level,” said Staff Sgt. Serena Castel, Company G readiness noncommissioned officer. “They are able provide blood pressures, pulses, breath and lung sounds, heart sounds, and display vital signs on monitors. Students are able to use actual medical equipment to practice and perform medical interventions.”
The course began with classroom instruction and static aircraft practice conducted in Topeka followed by hands-on skills validation and a graded event at Crisis City which is a part of the Kansas Training Center located in Salina. This final included a simulated critical care lab to test the flight medic's skills, which were evaluated by flight surgeons Maj. Justin Kelley, 1st Battalion, 108th Aviation, and Capt. Serenity Holden, California Army National Guard.
“During the evaluation scenario, students performed casualty care at a point of injury site, transferred the casualty (manikin) to the aircraft for in-flight medical treatment during a 20-minute transport flight, then landed back at Crisis City to a simulated medical treatment facility,” said Castel. “The scenarios took about two hours to perform all required skills.”
At the end of the course, students achieved biannual recertification for National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians Paramedic and Flight Paramedic Certification recertification.
“It was a very successful pilot course,” said Castel. “The success of this course will directly affect whether we will receive approval from the funds manager to hold this course annually in years to come. We are optimistic to be named a routine training site for this course in the future.”