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Medical Expo shares resources, saves lives

By Airman 1st Class Megan Munoz | Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs | May 22, 2017

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

The 628th Medical Group hosted the annual Lowcountry Skills Expo to enhance readiness verification skills for medics here and in the community, May 17.

Nearly 300 people from eight agencies trained on nine medical competencies including sutures, mass blood transfusions, IVs and litter carrying techniques.

“We’re coming together to see how we can share resources and supplies to keep our people deployment-ready and care for patients on a daily basis,” said Brandy Wendler, 628th MDG Education and Training flight chief. “We have our daily routine of caring for sick patients, so we don’t always get to practice things like giving fluids through an IV or treating cuts with sutures. There may be time when our medics have to use these skills while deployed.”

Weighted mannequins and pig’s feet were used to make the training more realistic. The 180 pound-mannequins were used during litter training to simulate carrying a patient. The pig’s feet were used during suture training because pig skin shares many similarities to human skin.

Members of Naval Health Clinic Charleston, the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, Naval Hospital Beaufort, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department, 628th Security Forces Squadron, Marine Corps 4th Medical Logistics Company, 315th Airlift Wing Aeromedical Squadron and the 20th MDG from Shaw Air Force Base participated in the training.

“We’re able to put together a much greater event by utilizing our assets and partners in different locations,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Darryl Lane, 628th MDG training manager. “This is what joint basing is all about, sharing resources. The expo is helping us learn what others bring to the table and letting us share our capabilities.”

An Olympic-style competition between the 628th MDG and NHCC concluded the expo. Two teams from each unit raced to finish medical and physical tasks including hemorrhage control, triage, push-ups, squats and a stretcher carry to the finish line. The 628th MDG won the Lowcountry Medical Skills Expo trophy for the second year in a row.

"The training was challenging and the competition was fierce," said U.S. Navy Capt. Elizabeth Maley, NHCC commanding officer. "I'm proud of these medical professionals for the hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence they not only displayed at the expo, but every day, as they provide the safest and highest quality care in both clinical settings and while on the battlefield. I'm confident they're ready to render medical services anywhere, at any time."