Medical Care Anywhere
By Staff Sgt. Tayna Rego, 102nd Medical Group
/ Published December 31, 2014
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- The 102nd Medical Group (MDG) is home to a team of select Airmen whose mission is to respond at any time to events requiring them to use all their medical skills in a hands-on environment.
This team of 47 Airmen makes up the 102 MDG Expeditionary Medical System-Consequence Management (EMEDS-CM)team. Their specialties include nurses, medical technicians, administration, biomedical equipment technicians, logistics, bio-environmental, and public health. The team is able to handle most aspects of emergency medical medicine, with a focus on trauma care.
The EMEDS-CM module is not new to the Air Force medical field, but its role has evolved through the years. Originally designed for quick response to a chemical, biological, radiological or explosive attack (CBRNE), the EMEDS-CM teams can now be ready within six hours to respond to natural disasters, as well as mass casualty incidents. During this past Boston Marathon, the EMEDS-CM team actually pre-staged so they would be able to provide an immediate response if needed.
"We've branched out and become more trauma focused," said Master Sgt. Sarah Perry, 102nd Medical Group." We're tasked with triaging patients, stabilizing them, and getting them to a higher echelon of care. We're capable of handling up to 60 patients per hour for a period of eight hours."
In addition to providing critical medical care, the 102 MDG EMEDS-CM team also has a team of 10 medics who work side by side with the Army during search and extraction operations.
The expanded mission of the EMEDS-CM brings extensive training for the 102nd MDG Airmen which included a recent training mission to work alongside FEMA, but the EMEDS-CM team recognizes the benefits of their additional responsibilities.
"This is our mission now," said Senior Master Sgt. Cynthia Thomas, 102 MDG. We're making great relationships with local communities and other services. It has great potential to save lives and you feel like you've accomplished something when you go out there."
The team recently changed leadership, and it didn't take long for the new commander to see the diverse skill sets and experience his team possesses.
"I'm in awe of the dedication of the people here," said Maj. Robert Driscoll Jr., 102 MDG EMEDS-CM commander. "The number of courses they have to take; the number of hours they have to put in. These people are highly devoted to the mission."