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Airmen and medical researchers team up for inflight TIS training

TIS

Airmen from the 628th Medical Group and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron out of Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Scott Air Force Base, Ill., transport a simulated patient during a training exercise July 18, 2018 at Joint Base Charleston. The goal of the training was to implement and evaluate the procedures of transportation for highly infectious patients from one location to another via aeromedical transportation.

Shawn G. Gibbs, Indiana School of Public Health professor, mounts a camera to a transportation isolation system to capture footage for later analysis during an exercise July 18, 2018, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.  Aeromedical Airmen and medical researchers from Indiana and Nebraska universities conducted TIS training to evaluate the procedures for transportation of highly infectious patients from one location to another via aeromedical evacuation.

Shawn G. Gibbs, Indiana School of Public Health professor, mounts a camera to a transportation isolation system to capture footage for later analysis during an exercise July 18, 2018, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. Aeromedical Airmen and medical researchers from Indiana and Nebraska universities conducted TIS training to evaluate the procedures for transportation of highly infectious patients from one location to another via aeromedical evacuation.

Airmen from the 628th and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadrons out of Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Scott Air Force Base Ill., along with medical researchers from Indiana and Nebraska universities conduct Transportation Isolation System training July 18, 2018 on a flight from Joint Base Charleston to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The Transport Isolation System, or TIS, is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases such as Ebola.

Airmen from the 628th Medical Group and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron out of Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Scott Air Force Base Ill., along with medical researchers from Indiana and Nebraska universities conduct Transportation Isolation System training July 18, 2018 on a flight from Joint Base Charleston to Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. The Transport Isolation System, or TIS, is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases such as Ebola.

Airmen from the 628th and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadrons prepare to transfer simulated patients from a Transportation Isolation System on a C-17 Globemaster III to an ambulance during an exercise July 18, 2018 at Offut Air Force Base, Neb. The TIS is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases.

Airmen from the 628th and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadrons from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Scott Air Force Base, Ill. prepare to transfer simulated patients from a Transportation Isolation System on a C-17 Globemaster III to an ambulance during an exercise July 18, 2018 at Offut Air Force Base, Neb. The TIS is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases.

Staff Sgt. Brian Groll, 375th Aeromedical Evacuation technician out of Scott Air Force Base Ill. walks through a hangar at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. July 18, 2018. Groll donned necessary personal protective equipment during an exercise dealing with the transport of highly infectious patients.

Staff Sgt. Brian Groll, 375th Aeromedical Evacuation technician out of Scott Air Force Base Ill. walks through a hangar at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. July 18, 2018. Groll donned necessary personal protective equipment during an exercise dealing with the transport of highly infectious patients.

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. --

 Airmen from the 628th Medical Group at Joint Base Charleston, the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and medical researchers from Indiana and Nebraska universities, conducted Transportation Isolation System training July 18, 2018, on a flight from Joint Base Charleston to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

The goal of the collaborative training was to implement and evaluate the procedures for transporting highly infectious patients from one location to another via aeromedical evacuation.  

The Transport Isolation System is an enclosure the Department of Defense can use to safely transport patients with highly contagious diseases. The TIS was engineered and implemented after the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014.

“For the last three months we have been working with multiple bases to improve the process of transporting highly infectious patients,” said John Lowe, University of Nebraska Medical Research Center researcher. “The University of Nebraska is really committed to the global health community. This collaboration with the Air Force allows the medical community to observe and improve its capabilities.”

For the first time, the training utilized two TIS pods on one C-17 Globemaster III. One system was used to quarantine a simulated highly infectious patient, while the other was used for monitoring and observation of two additional simulated patients who had been exposed to the infectious patient.

“The University of Nebraska is considered to be the leading experts of biological contamination in the United States.” said Maj. Heather Cohen, Air Mobility Command deputy chief of medical modernization. “An exercise like this provides extremely important readiness training to our aeromedical Airmen. The Airmen were able to familiarize themselves with the various procedures and personal protective equipment required for this type of mission.”

Once the team landed at Offut AFB, the patients were transferred into the care of Omaha safety officials. In a real-world scenario, patients would be transferred to one of ten facilities in the United States equipped to house highly infectious patients, such as the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

“The most important thing when it comes to the TIS is making sure the patients and crew members are transported as safely as possible,” said Master Sgt. Latresia Pugh, Air Mobility Command aeromedical evacuation technician. “We’ve made tremendous strides in improving the plans and procedures through our collaboration with various agencies.”

Continuous innovation with the TIS and training involved with its use, helps provide the most effective and safest form of transportation for patients and their medical professionals.

“We don’t know what the bug of the future might be,” said Cohen. “This is the next step in preparing for as many scenarios as possible.”

 

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Airman 1st Class Michael Yu

375th Communications Squadron

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