News>2 MDG ambulance service becomes ALS certified
Tech. Sgt. Kris Wooster, 2nd Medical Operations Squadron ambulance services chief, inventories a narcotics bag on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20. The bag contains narcotics that may be administered to patients for various reasons, including pain relief, to keep someone conscious and treat symptoms they may be experiencing. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Sean Martin)(RELEASED)
Tech. Sgt. Kris Wooster, 2nd Medical Operations Squadron ambulance services chief, inventories vials of epinephrine on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20. Epinephrine is used to treat a variety of emergencies that may occur including severe allergic reactions. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Sean Martin)(RELEASED)
by Senior Airman Sean Martin
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
8/22/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - -- The 2nd Medical Group ambulance services are transitioning from Basic Life Support to Advanced Life Support certification on Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
ALS is a more advanced training which allows the responders to provide a wider range of care to patients. This type of medical care can be used in the field and can only be performed by a paramedic or someone who is ALS certified.
Currently, the 2 MDG ambulance service section has five trained paramedics, one active duty and four civlian, to perform this type of care.
"We can do everything from an electrocardiogram test, advanced airway breathing techniques, emergency cricotomies and chest compressions," said Robert Cline, paramedic shift leader. "We can also administer various drugs and narcotics."
The training was brought to Barksdale to allow the ambulance service section the capability of performing advanced procedures without delay.
"This training saves time," said Tech. Sgt. Kris Wooster, 2nd Medical Operations Squadron ambulance services chief. "It provides patients immediate access to care and eliminates the amount of pain a patient has to go through before more advanced care is provided."
Along with saving time, having this training at Barksdale also saves the Air Force funds used to pay for this type of off base care.
"This training saves the Air Force around $100,000 a year," said Wooster. "This amount is insignificant compared to the loss of life we are preventing."
ALS allows the medics who arrive on-scene to have continuity of care of the patient from beginning to end.
"This is what the medical mission is all about," said Wooster. "It's our job to make sure our patients get all the way through to the end of his or her care. It eliminates the block of absence we have when he or she is transported off base. That is the appropriate way to care for someone."
The 2 MDG is one of two functioning units in Air Force Global Strike Command that is ALS certified.
The two year process to achieve the advanced certification involved many different agencies on base, said Cline.
"This has been a work in progress," said Cline. "There have been a lot of people who have made this possible. If it hadn't been for the leadership at the 2nd Medical Group, this would have never happened."
In the case of an emergency, base personnel should dial 911.