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NHCCP Medical Teams Support Air Show

By: Madison Marcantel, Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point Public Affairs , Navy News 
Published: 5/10/2018 7:39 AM

​CHERRY POINT, N.C. (NNS) -- "We prepare for it and we're ready to respond, but we all pray that it never happens."

Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point's Emergency Manager Joe Farland was talking about potential disasters the clinic's staff prepare for during their weekly Readiness Training. To further that training in a real-world environment, NHCCP staff members teamed up with Marine Corps Air Station's Emergency Services during the MCAS 2018 Air show held May 4, 5 and 6.

More than 150,000 people attended the three day event.

Two specialized command teams, one focused on decontamination (DECON) and the other, Mass Casualty Response (MCI), assisted in providing emergency medical services for all Air Show attendees.

"We had a variety of cases throughout the weekend," said Farland. "Between clinic personnel, the base fire department personnel and the State Medical Assist Team (SMAT) we treated approximately 76 people. Treatments included simple things like handing out Band-Aids for blisters, to more serious cases such as transporting a patient suffering a possible cardiac arrest."

The DECON and MCI teams train extensively all year to handle mass casualty or decontamination situations. They also train yearly with the base's Fire and Emergency Services Department. Both teams are comprised of active-duty nurses and enlisted hospital corpsmen creating the best mix of trained individuals ready to respond to a mass casualty situation.

Team members were dispersed throughout the crowds, assisting anyone in need of medical assistance and transporting patients to the SMAT team where they were triaged ... determining the next step in patient care.

"It was a good weekend! The weather stayed cool enough that we didn't have a bunch of heat casualties like we've seen in previous years," said Farland.

And while all the emergency responders from MCAS and NHCCP were ready and fully trained for a catastrophic event, thankfully one never occurred.

"Our corpsmen and nurses train year 'round to be ready for any situation they may face in a combat scenario," said Capt. Jay Woelkers, NHCCP commanding officer. "It's part of our readiness training, it's what we do. Being able to assist our Marine Corps community by participating in this fabulous air show enabled us to flex our muscles so to speak. Even though we didn't expect a mass casualty situation, we were able to deploy our Sailors and test ourselves for that possibility. We were able to train as we would be expected to fight."

Named after Medal of Honor recipient, Pharmacist Mate Second Class William D. Halyburton, the Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point provides high-quality patient care to more than 18,000 active-duty members and DOD beneficiaries. In addition to out-patient surgical services, NHCCP offers Medical Home Port (including family care and pediatrics), Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Orthopedics, Physical Therapy, Mental Health, Pharmacy services, Preventive Medicine, Aviation Medicine and Radiology to include MRIs.

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