341st MDG initiates first-ever COLLT
By Airman 1st Class Tristan Truesdell, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 05, 2019
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- A flight of red crosses race toward victims laying on the ground, struck by a vehicle that overcame a barrier – initiating a mass casualty response.
That was the scenario of the 341st Medical Group’s first-ever Comprehensive Operational Low-Level Training exercise.
“If something happens on base where several people get hurt at the same time, we’d have medics on hand with designated roles walking around, checking on people and providing first aid,” said Maj. Ryan Seymour, 341st Medical Operations Squadron family health flight commander.
By practicing these roles and integrating with other Airmen, the medical group promoted the professional and personal development of Airmen as wingmen, too.
The COLLT exercised one of the United States Air Force’s objectives: to maintain deployment-ready Airmen, 24/7/365.
It was a combined effort involving medical readiness, local emergency services and more than 20 moulage volunteers.
“We coordinated with local emergency services for the COLLT,” said Staff Sgt. Alyssa Larkey, 341st Medical Support Squadron medical readiness NCO in charge. “They had an ambulance present to demonstrate how to use the stretcher and how to properly load a victim for transport.
“Airmen were able to develop a much-needed relationship with local emergency services,” she added. “If something were to happen real-time, our Airmen have that muscle memory and communication for the hand-off of a patient [needing higher level of care]."
Airmen responding to the incident administered necessary treatment by applying hemorrhage control, splinting, simple first aid, evaluation and assessment, and patient transport.
“COLLT allowed Airmen to have the tangibility that computer-based training doesn’t give,” said Larkey. “Not only are we practicing for contingency, we’re also preparing our medics in the event something out of the ordinary happens.”
The training exercise gave Airmen the opportunity to utilize their skills based off knowledge they received from their own Air Force Specialty Code while integrating with Airmen of different AFSCs.
According to Larkey, there are currently 37 different AFSCs under the medical section throughout the entire U.S. Air Force.
“You have people who do administrative tasks and then people who physically care for patients,” said Larkey. “This includes nurses, providers and technicians.
“COLLT had everyone actively on the field, regardless of AFSC, practicing and communicating together to develop the relationship they need to help patients.”
The hands-on training and integration of different AFSCs during the COLLT prepares medical Airmen in the event a real-world incident occurs.
“Any higher level of care outside of minor injuries will be referred to a local hospital, whether by privately-owned vehicle or ambulance,” said Seymour.
Because of the success of the COLLT, plans are in motion to create similar exercises for the medical group every quarter, according to Seymour.
“I saw the integration of all the medical group’s capabilities play out at the same time,” said Seymour. “Now I know what we can do in a crisis scenario by having each individual team merge together.
“We have to be medically-ready Airmen - all of us,” he continued. “Whether that’s having our Individual Medical Readiness green to be deployable or for medics to know their job as either a clinic or response team, but the ability to operate in all aspects of our capabilities to complete our Air Force mission.”