943d AMDS and 920th ASTS conduct joint CCATT training

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Quion Lowe, 943d Rescue Group Public Affairs

The 943d Aerospace Medicine Squadron and 920th Aeromedical Staging Squadron conducted training for Critical Care Air Transport Teams here Sept. 8-12.

CCATTs are made up of one nurse, one respiratory therapist, and a physician who specialize in an area of critical care or emergency medicine. These highly specialized and uniquely skilled three-person medical teams give care to critically ill servicemembers in-flight, turning an aircraft into a flying intensive care unit.

The 920th ASTS and 943d AMDS, medical squadrons assigned to the 920th Rescue Wing and stationed at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida and Davis-Monthan AFB, are equipped with multiple CCATT’s and train quarterly. These two squadrons came together to ensure maximum knowledge sharing and collaboration.

“We train in CCATT’s quarterly, but this is the first time we've cross trained with the 920th ASTS. We broadened our knowledge base by learning the techniques and practices of different CCATT members,” said Maj. Mark McLawhorn, 943d AMDS CCATT director.

During their training sessions, the CCAT Teams replicate the in-flight environment by using low-light, introducing smoke, and heightening ambient noise; all while operating on a mannequin in a confined space.

In addition to quarterly training, each team member fulfills all civilian qualifications for their occupation and must successfully complete two separate two-week courses before they are qualified as a CCATT member.

“It’s good for us to get out of our comfort zones and work with a different team. For example, medications used to intubate a patient is the doctor’s preference. The team can be more prepared when these preferences are clearly communicated and established prior to the flight,” said Capt. Jorge Guzman, 920th ASTS critical care flight nurse.

The 943d AMDS and 920th ASTS provide medical support to ensure units' medical requirements for deployment are met. The 943d Rescue Group is a geographically unit within the 920th Rescue Wing which is a combined arms team of special mission personnel and aviation that plan, lead and conduct military rescue operations that deny competitors and adversaries the exploitation of isolated personnel.