U.S. Army Trains At Mayo Clinic

Posted at: 11/30/2012 9:08 PM
Updated at: 11/30/2012 10:16 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen

(ABC 6 News) -- It's been about a year since the U.S. Army Reserve and Mayo Clinic teamed up to offer soldiers simulated training.

The team is now preparing for a year long deployment in Afghanistan and on Friday, members demonstrated what they've been learning.

“The pelvis is not stable,” says Captain Glogowski. His team’s situation is dire.

"He has bilateral extremity injuries with chest trauma," says fellow Captain, Rodney Noe.

A soldier has been hit by a land mine while on patrol and it's up to these four soldiers to stabilize him.

"Got no breathing. Let's go and bag him, bag him first," orders Glogowski. The team must work quickly.

"It's huge, it's enormous pressure on these young people," says Noe.

"Let's go ahead and prepare for a chest needle decompression...followed by a chest tube," orders Glogowski.  

"The big part is teamwork. Every one knowing their job so nothing is missed,” says Noe.

"We'll start to know what each is attempting to do, can anticipate each other's maneuvers," says team member, Sergeant John Shotton.

That scenario is how the Army Reserve's 945th Forward Surgical Team has practiced all year long at Mayo Clinic.

"Repetition is key. It's muscle memory so if they're able to perform here, they'll be able to perform in the field," says Noe.

"We're doing emergency room training, I.C.U. training, O.R. training. It's really crucial to us because we don't get these opportunities anywhere else," says Shotton.

That's because unlike regular mannequins, the one's they use act like real people.

"These cry, they moan, they have blood pressure, they have pulses. You can feel them. Hear the lungs sound," says Noe.

"They have physical findings so you have to examine them in order to make a diagnosis," says Colonel Walter Franz, who leads the team.

Most of the time the crew gets it correctly, but working through mistakes is what this is all about.

"It's important for us to work those kinks out before we get in the field because literally the soldier's life is in your hands," says Noe.

And if their training pays off, they'll be saying this while saving lives in Afghanistan next year.

"Vitals are stable," says Glogowski.

The team did not release a specific date on when they'll deploy.