JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
Joint Base Charleston hosted Air Mobility Command training for aeromedical and infectious disease personnel to better familiarize them with outbreak prevention protocols and procedures, with a focus on Ebola, March 4-6.
The training focused on the Transportation Isolation System, which is designed to provide aeromedical evacuation for patients with known or suspected exposure to a contagious or infectious disease, while protecting aircraft and aircrew.
“We’ve got Airmen from multiple career fields and areas of expertise here,” said Maj. Scott King, 628th Medical Group TIS support team leader. “This exercise includes aeromedical personnel, infectious disease doctors, critical care transport teams and TIS support team members.”
King said that JBC fulfilled a unique role in support the TIS mission.
“Joint Base Charleston is hosting Airmen from all over AMC to ensure everyone is familiar with the units,” King said. “This mission capability is the only one of its kind in the Department of Defense. We’re able to safely transport one or multiple Ebola infected patients if the danger of infection is ever present during a mission. Our base is the only one in the DoD that can deploy these TIS units, supporting the mission of readiness and executing the AMC initiative of having rapid global mobility capabilities.”
First implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014, the TIS was engineered to ensure service members get the proper treatment in the event they get infected with any disease during relief missions to affected areas.
According to the Center for Disease Control website, 11 people were treated for Ebola in the United States during the 2014-2016 epidemic, many of whom were medical workers that were exposed during their time in West Africa. Units like the TIS allows Air Force medical workers to do their job and still receive the proper care in the case of an emergency.
Transportation isolation training takes place roughly three times a year and lasts for four days. The training goes from initial donning and doffing protocols for personal protective equipment to actual patient transport and care. This can include treating simulated patients at the “infection scene” all the way to securing them within the TIS unit and even taking part in a simulated inflight transport.