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Andersen Airmen on a highway to healing

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandre Montes
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Members of the Andersen Ambulance Services know every time an alarm sounds, it could be a life-or-death situation hinging on their ability to respond as quick as possible.

"We don't have the same mission as the rest of the medical group," said Tech. Sgt. Aristotle Eclarino, 36th Medical Operations Suqadron Emergency Medical Services technician. "They have the normal (eight) to five, we have to respond at a moment's notice, and my guys are game for whatever happens."

The unique mission in the Pacific region gives these responders a different perspective of being "medics on wheels." Each day is a mystery for what situations they will have to overcome.

"Every Airman's first call to respond is like a reality check, it makes or breaks a technician," said Airman 1st Class Thomas Redman, 36th MDOS Emergency Medical Services technician. "Training is what we do when not responding."

Ambulance services constantly trains during duty hours with Air Force and local Naval fire departments. This also includes weekly training and monthly disaster team or readiness verification training with other sections within the 36th Medical Group. These training sessions sharpen their skills as emergency responders to ensure the safety of each other and patients.

Eclarino said early on-scene medical treatment dates back to the 1400s innovated by the Royal Spanish Army who only picked up the injured after each battle, they were called "ambulancias." Today they are known as Emergency Medical Technicians, some may call them "Medics on Wheels."

"(The) ambulance service's mission is to provide twenty-four hour emergency medical services, which includes 911 medical calls and in-flight emergency support," said Tech. Sgt. Sharnta Bullard, 36th MDOS Emergency Medical Services NCO in charge.

Estimated time of arrival to the nearest emergency room is 40 minutes away at the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. Because of this, there are always two-person teams on standby prepared to report within seven minutes of notification and carry out the mission at hand.

"My guys know when they are on shift for 24 hours, we can be up for 24 hours and they know that. These airman do this with no questions and with pride," Eclarino said. "I am proud to work with such a cohesive group of individuals here that love what they do."

He said the dynamic of being an EMT is teamwork and motivation that keep its members learning and growing as technicians. Not only do the EMTs man ambulances, they also work in the emergency rooms as well. "This type of work builds Airman's core values and carries over to the next." Eclarino said.

"With every call we do, we reflect on it and think about how to do it better in the future," he continued. "Then we learn from it and move on so we can focus on what going to happen next."

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