Joint team saves lives in Korea
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- A joint effort from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Wolf Pack saved two civilians lives Oct. 9, 2013.
The two patients suffered third degree burns to their arms and face on a ship at sea. U.S. Navy helicopters from Carrier Air Wing (CVN 73) 5 sprang into action initiating the rescue effort.
The Navy "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30, currently conducting logistics operations between Kunsan and the USS George Washington (CVN 73), became the liaison between the Air Force and Navy.
"Getting to apply what we do every day to an emergency operation is a good opportunity," said U.S. Navy Lt. Jesse King, Navy "Providers" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 C-2A pilot.
The VRC-30 sailors coordinated flight plans, fuel supplies and ambulances between the Air Force and Navy, while hospital corpsmen at sea stabilized the patients for transport.
"A lot happened quickly and our Detachment made sure we could get the helicopters [to Kunsan] and transfer the patients to the local hospital," said King. "I am glad we could be here to help save lives."
The Navy put in a call to the Wolf Pack operations desk, air traffic control tower and command post. The Wolf Pack answered.
Out came the 8th Operations, Medical and Mission Support Groups; but first on the scene was the transient alert crew to receive the injured. Kunsan medics accepted control from the TA crew and provided continued lifesaving medical care.
"This incident really showed the capabilities of the 8th MDG," said Maj. Valerie Obrien, 8th MDG medical staff chief.
One of the patient's vital signs became unstable during the flight. The Kunsan team came together and performed an intubation, a procedure that opens up the airway.
"In the face of a real life threatening event, the medical group came together as a cohesive team," said Obrien. "Everyone from our most junior Airmen in Ambulance Services, all the way to our group commander came together last night and performed their roles with utmost professionalism. This was never a one person show, the whole team was vital."
Kunsan's medics stabilized the patients, and the U.S. effort concluded with defenders ensuring a safe escort from base to a local hospital.
"This event truly shows that the wing rocks and can provide world class health care anywhere," said Obrien.