Emergency Response Exercise at Eagle Base
By 1Lt Alexander Barb
First published in
SFOR Informer #98, October 11, 2000
Tuzla - The victim lies moaning, his breath stalling. Burns
to the second degree covered his abdomen and his chest, and third degree
burns charred his forearms and legs. A terrifying diagnosis. Flames had
eaten away the skin on more than 50 percent of his body.
are conducting this exercise to show how we work in emergency situations
when several people are wounded. This helps us also make sure we are operational,"
said Maj. Jon Hobbs, in charge of the last exercise of the 115th Field
Hospital at Eagle Base before the 249th General Hospital takes over after
Under the cool artificial neon lights of Eagle Base, a pungent odour of
medicine and disinfectant wafts through the air, as the medical staff
scurried around the patient.
Blood pressure: 14/8
The patient is dying. Stretched on his bed, unable to make out the covered
faces and hands working on him through the blinding light, Cpl. Clarence
Behan kept on playing the role of the victim.
story of the accident is simple. While he was trying to fix a van packed
with Jerry cans of kerosene, his two fellow soldiers lit their cigarettes.
The explosion that followed projected the three men 10 feet into the air.
Once the distress signal was given, the first team of paramedics arrived
on the scene of the accident. Lying on a stretcher with a neck-brace on,
the victims were transported into the ambulance.
Meanwhile, in the pure blue sky, the thumping blades of a Blackhawk can
be heard coming from the Dobol camp. Bad news for the doctors, there are
more casualties on their way. Onboard are two other wounded soldiers from
a car wreck.
The driver's face was fractured and he will need a surgical intervention
that cannot be done in this field hospital.
E.R. team made up of a doctor and four assistants put the burn victim
through the X-ray machine. He has no internal injuries.
"I am going to need a medevac to deal with this victim because of
the extent of his burns," said the doctor.
On the tarmac of the airport a medevac airplane awaits. The seats had
been folded up to make space for the stretchers. Capt. Michael Price and
Cpl. Wendy Ewing take care of the first victim to come onboard. They tie
down the stretcher so that the victim feels the least possible turbulence
from the flight.
"It feels like the minutes last hours," said Behan. "If
it had really happened I feel that the nurses and doctors would have saved
For Maj. Hobbs the drill had gone well.
"I am very happy with the exercise results because we hit every objective
we had set out to achieve, including the MEDEVAC," he said. "After
the exercise we are going to meet with the new team (249th GH) for a debriefing
and see what they think about it. They will then be able to perfect their
Nations of SFOR: US
Exercises and Training