Fort Hood: CRDAMC hosting joint emergency medicine exercise

FORT HOOD, Texas (KWTX) Navy and Air Force medical teams are joining Army medical units this week during a Joint Emergency Medicine Exercise.

Cpt. Hugh Hiller is an emergency medical resident on Fort Hood. After leaving medical school, he's now getting a first-hand experience in a potential combat setting.

"We're usually used to being in a hospital setting, and so coming out of our comfort zone into this setting is really beneficial,” Hiller said.

Members from the branches of our Armed Forces and emergency medicine students are training together in combat casualty care.

"Our doctrine is that we fight as a joint team, so when you find the Army deployed, you will find the Air Force, you will find the Navy, you will find the Marine Corps. It's extremely important we are inoperable with our joint force teammates," said Col. David Gibson, commander of Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.

From the air to the ground, the emergency medicine students getting training in different scenarios – like a lifelike mannequin in need of medical care.

“We have participation from surgical team, field hospital, rotary helicopter helivac in addition to striker and tank ambulances. All those are going to be incorporated into medical roles of care," said Maj. Benjamin Donham, director of the operational medicine emergency residency program.

Once a wounded service members arrives to the field hospital – the first stop -- trauma team members work together, each with a different role.

“We want to prevent loss of life on the battlefield setting. Our main goal is to bring soldiers home, that's why we train in emergency medicine and that's why I’m here,” Hiller said.

Bringing service members home, a reminder of how important these exercise are.

"Biggest thing is realism to do it exactly as we would do it in combat and not cut any corners that would potentially limit the way we would be able to provide medical care," Donham said.

The exercise is hosted by Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and will end Friday.