Preparation Air Evac: Building Partnerships

The Air Evac Lifeteam 34 team departs from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016, after a familiarization tour and air evacuation-training session. Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group listen to Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot as he trains them in preparation for Sheppard’s 75th anniversary air show celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

The Air Evac Lifeteam 34 team departs from Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016, after a familiarization tour and air evacuation-training session. Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group listen to Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot as he trains them in preparation for Sheppard’s 75th anniversary air show celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group, listen to Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, give a medical air evacuation training session at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Whitmus trained more than 25 Airmen how to properly set up and navigate a landing zone during an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group, listen to Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, give a medical air evacuation training session at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Whitmus trained more than 25 Airmen how to properly set up and navigate a landing zone during an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, gives a medical air evacuation training session at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group participated in the training to increase interoperability and familiarization with air evacuation procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, gives a medical air evacuation training session at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group participated in the training to increase interoperability and familiarization with air evacuation procedures. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group, gather around the Air Evac Lifeteam 34 helicopter for a familiarization tour at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, give a medical air evacuation training session to more than 25 Airmen showing them how to properly set up and navigate a landing zone during an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group, gather around the Air Evac Lifeteam 34 helicopter for a familiarization tour at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, give a medical air evacuation training session to more than 25 Airmen showing them how to properly set up and navigate a landing zone during an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department look inside the Air Evac Lifeteam 34 helicopter during a familiarization tour at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, gives a medical air evacuation training session to more than 25 Airmen showing them how to properly set up and navigate a landing zone during an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department look inside the Air Evac Lifeteam 34 helicopter during a familiarization tour at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, gives a medical air evacuation training session to more than 25 Airmen showing them how to properly set up and navigate a landing zone during an emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

A civilian crew chief signals the Air Evac Lifeteam 34 team for takeoff at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group listen to Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, as he trains them in preparation for Sheppard’s 75th anniversary air show celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

A civilian crew chief signals the Air Evac Lifeteam 34 team for takeoff at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, Aug. 3, 2016. Airmen from both the 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department and 82nd Medical Group listen to Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot, as he trains them in preparation for Sheppard’s 75th anniversary air show celebration. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle E. Gese/Released)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --

For those who have stared death in the face, survival often came down to a single moment – and it’s frequently the skill of emergency responders that made the difference.

 

Sheppard’s first responders honed these skills Aug. 3, 2016, the 82nd Medical Group and 82nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire department trained together to increase interoperability and readiness for real world emergencies. First responders from the Air Evac Lifeteam Base 34 in Wichita Falls, Texas, participated as well by training with Airmen and giving a familiarization tour of the aircraft to enhance their experience.

 

Air Evac teams respond to life threatening emergencies by providing swift transportation and expert medical care - sustaining life, limb and eyesight until they reach a medical facility.

 

“We can cut the travel time in half, going from ground transport to air transport,” said Rick Mahan, Air Evac Lifeteam 34 flight nurse. “It’s about getting the patients to a surgical center or the right trauma facility within one hour from their accident.”

 

Chris Whitmus, an Air Evac Lifeteam 34 pilot who administered the training, agreed saying, “We can get them faster than an ambulance can … training like this is very important,” he said. “When we come in to land, we want someone who knows what they’re doing. It makes everything safer for everyone involved.”

 

This training is also special because Sheppard will host its 75th anniversary celebration on Sept. 17-18, and teams will be in-place to ensure everyone’s safety. In the event an accident should occur, this training prepares Sheppard Airmen and the Wichita Falls Air Evac team to quickly and safely transport patients to the hospital with ease.

 

“We’re all partners,” said David Mounsey, 82nd CES fire chief. “Since we have a major air show coming up, we’ll have a lot of folks here with a potential for injuries … this is just another avenue we can use to get patients to the hospital quicker in the case of an emergency.”

 

The Air Evac Lifeteam Base 34 is currently the only group in the local area with the capability to transport patients by aircraft. This makes training extremely important for Sheppard Airmen and the Wichita Falls Air Evac team to understand how each other operate during emergencies.

 

“These are skills that we need, but skills we hope we don’t use either,” Mounsey added. “The whole purpose for today’s training I can sum down to one word; preparation.”