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New Ambulance Policy Brings Greater Capabilities

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
A new policy instated at Andersen Air Force base will allow ambulances and emergency medical technicians to operate at an Advanced Life Support status.

"Before, when we received a call that required advanced life support, ambulance services would have to meet off base with Guam ALS and have their technician get on ambulance and continue with us to our designated facility," said Tech. Sgt. Sharnta Bullard, Medical Operations Squadron noncomission officer in charge of ambulance services. "Now with our new service upgrade, we will no longer have to meet with Guam ALS."

Prior to the new policy, the base was operating at basic level support, meaning EMT's were trained to the basic level, said Sergeant Bullard. EMT-B's can provide bandaging, splinting, basic airway management skills and they can also operate an automatic defibrillator. However, EMT-B's cannot do cardiac monitoring, pacing and have a limited amount of medications they are able to administer.

Andersen AFB ambulance services now have emergency technicians operating at the intermediate or paramedic level.

"Paramedics can do the same as emergency medical technicians, operating at the basic level plus provide advanced cardiac life support, cardiac monitoring, and can administer a more vast range of life-saving medications," said Sergeant Bullard.
The change in service will have a positive outcome for servicemembers and their families because Andersen ambulance services are now able to provide advanced life-saving capabilities.

"It's an amazing accomplishment for the base, medical group, fire department and the ambulance services staff," said Sergeant Bullard. "Many people have worked toward this goal and it has definitely been a true team effort. The Paramedics in Ambulance Services are an outstanding group of skilled professionals who are highly motivated and ready to put the skills they were trained to use and provide the highest level of care possible for our base population."

With the new policy in place, Andersen AFB will be able to maximize results with newly acquired capabilities.

"I am very proud of all of the hard work that has been put forth to make this happen on every level from the major command to the medics that succeeded through some very difficult and lengthy advanced medical training and everyone in between," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Winovich, 36th medical operations squadron superintendant. "Additionally, we have been able to provide a platform that gives our medics an opportunity to continually hone their critical wartime and emergency medical skill sets."

The entire Ambulance Services Staff is excited about the new standard of care and that it goes in line with our medical group's mission to optimize Team Andersen capabilities through current and competent medics, keeping Andersen's strong posture for tomorrows fight.