Range Control Soldiers Get Carried Away with Life Flight Training

 

Written by Sgt. Kelly Collett and Capt. Matthew Jones

Published April 19, 2006

 

Download Printer-Friendly Version

       

 

Spc. Phil Terry gets transported by Life Flight on a net backboard hoist between 200 and 300 feet above the ground during a MEDEVAC training exercise at Camp Williams.

Photo by Capt. Matthew Jones

Spc. Phil Terry gets transported by Life Flight on a net backboard hoist between 200 and 300 feet above the ground during a MEDEVAC training exercise at Camp Williams.

CAMP WILLIAMS, Utah – Camp Williams Range Control conducted a MEDEVAC rehearsal Mar. 30 with Intermountain Health Care’s Life Flight team.

 

To demonstrate their capabilities and to familiarize Soldiers with the procedure, Life Flight conducted two separate carries during the operation.

 

Spc. Matilde Ott volunteered to be in the Swiss hoist. Life Flight lifted Ott up and transported her between 200 and 300 feet above the ground.

 

“It’s like a rappelling seat except it’s not tight around your waist. You are sitting down,” Ott said. “It was pretty high.  I could see everything.”

 

Spc. Phil Terry volunteered to be the victim who Life Flight transported on the net backboard.

 

Over a three-hour period, Range Control personnel trained on 9-line MEDEVAC procedures as well as running the Fire Desk during contingency operations.  Security personnel trained on responding to the incident site and preparing for the safe extradition of personnel. 

 

Life Flight's unique ability to conduct hoist operations has proven to be of great value in the rough terrain and around the aerial hazards common to Camp Williams. 

 

“This training event helped us improve our ability to operate with outside agencies and test our response and communications during an emergency,” said Utah National Guard Range Control Officer Capt. Matthew Jones.

 

“I think I have a better idea of what I need to do if I was training and somebody was to get hurt, “ Ott added.

 

Spc. Matilde Ott gets suited up in a Swiss seat hoist in preparation for Life Flight to transport her during a training exercise.

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Keith Cartwright

Spc. Matilde Ott gets suited up in a Swiss seat hoist in preparation for Life Flight to transport her during a training exercise.

Range Control personnel have also conducted rehearsals with Air Med from the University of Utah within the last couple months which Jones says is the first time Camp Williams has completed the rehearsals with a civilian entity.

 

Range Control has a long-standing working relationship with various local, state and federal agencies.  They have trained with Unified Fire Authority; Air Med; the Saratoga Springs,  Bluffdale and Eagle Mountain Fire Departments; Utah County Dispatch; Northern Utah Interagency Fire Center; Valley Emergency Communications Center and FEMA.

 

Although Camp Williams Soldiers have trained with numerous first responders in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, geography plays a role in deciding who responds to an incident on post because the camp straddles the line between Salt Lake and Utah Counties.

 

“The charters for emergency services go right up to the county line, but the access gate is in Salt Lake County. You have to go through Salt Lake County to get to the Utah County part,” Jones said. “As a customer, we have to make sure that the quickest person gets there.  I've spoken with the agencies involved with the different charters and told them that whoever gets here first gets our business."

 

Range Control Soldiers pose for a group picture with Life Flight Crew and local law enforcement after completing an MEDEVAC training exercise at Camp Williams.

Photo by Capt. Matthew Jones

Range Control Soldiers pose for a group picture with Life Flight Crew and local law

enforcement after completing an MEDEVAC training exercise at Camp Williams.