SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill – Tucked away past numerous hallways in the 375th Medical Group, rays of sunlight illuminate a hidden gem. Those rays move past a room full of workbenches, electrical equipment and tools, and cast onto a group of Airmen working on medical equipment ensuring patients are able to receive the care they need.
The Medical Equipment Repair Center, or MERC, consists of specialty trained biomedical equipment technicians (BMET) that are part of a select group in their career field.
“We’re a little hidden gem,” said Senior Airman Brooklyn Lindsey, a 375th MDSS BMET. “We have a first-hand impact on the bigger mission. We keep clinics going.”
The medical equipment that the team is able to repair with their capabilities save countless lives, and they approach each repair or assessment with their own personal touch.
“If medical equipment was used on one of my grandparents, I’d want it to be the best,” Airman 1st Class Brandon Peace, a BMET for the 375th MDSS. “That's why I do my best job, so it can perform to help others.”
One of the only facilities with their unique capabilities, the team often travel to assist and train others, explained Peace. The MERC covers 19 regional sites ranging from the Canadian border to Arkansas. Recently, Peace went to multiple sites to train other BMETs on dental equipment.
“I trained them on how to go through the whole process of calculations and repairing, which allowed them to then perform it on other dental equipment,” said Peace.
These Airmen train and help others in their career field, while simultaneously working and adapting to ensure that the mission continues.
“You never know what you’re going to be doing,” said Lindsey. “Something of high importance could pop up, you could quickly be out the door for a deployment, or a temporary duty station.”
For example, Lindsey recalls when a fridge located in the 375th Medical Group carrying COVID-19 vaccinations had a mechanical issue, and she and her team were able to use their skills to quickly adapt. Moving the COVID-19 vaccines to preserve them, the team then were able to fix the issue, enabling more COVID-19 vaccines to be stored inside.
Through the hard work and dedication, the Airmen at the MERC show in repairing medical equipment both on base and across the Air Force, they ensure medical clinics are able to continue carrying out their mission of helping others when they need it most.