Air Force expeditionary medical teams headed to Haiti

By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson, Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Med blog picIn the continued effort to use all assets available within the Department of Defense, the U.S. Southern Command is sending a special Air Force medical team to help the people in Haiti.

Within the next 24 hours, an Expeditionary Medical Support, or EMEDS, team will be arriving to provide for more much-needed medical support to those awaiting medical care after the devastating 7-pointer that left Haiti helpless in its quake, Jan 12.

On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, Col. (Dr.) Mark E. Mavity, the Director of Medical Readiness for the Air Force Medical Support Agency out of Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., participated in DoD Blogger’s Roundtable (listen here) to discuss the “combat converted” medical team’s capabilities and what they will do once they arrive in Haiti.

The EMEDS team will join the 40-plus medical personnel from Hurlburt Field, Fla., who were on the ground within 24 hours after devastation hit.

Colonel Mavity explained that with the capability to get in an area quickly, and using a “building block” approach, EMEDS’ flexible platform will “tailor its capabilities to the situational needs” the team will soon face. The first stage will be an EMEDS 10(a 10-bed capacity deployable hospital) which will quickly be established to an EMEDS 25 within 48 hours from initial set up.

With an established EMEDS team in place the Air Force medical personnel will be able to stabilize patients and move them to additional levels of care in as quick of manner as possible.

Accustomed to the trauma of combat care conditions, the EMEDS teams will adapt its capabilities to include handling infants, and elderly among the many wounded. Colonel Mavity is confident of his team’s agile responsive forces are more than ready to provide primary care, surgical and intensive care capabilities, flight meds, and preventative medical care.

Medical is a heartfelt profession and volunteers for this effort weren’t hard to find, said Dr. Mavity. “We have more folks who are willing and who want to help than we can get out the door.”

Photo Cutline:  U.S. Air Force Capt. Rob Clontz, 1st Special Operations Support Squadron takes the pulse of a wounded Haitian at a casualty collection point at the Port-Au-Prince airport Jan. 15, 2010.  Department of Defense assets have been dispatched to Haiti to assist with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after a magnitude 7 earthquake hit the country on 12 Jan. 2010.  U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr.

Visit our Haiti Earthquake relief  page for more information about the relief effort.  For a compilation of official U.S. Government twitter accounts associated with Haiti relief, click here.