28th MDG provides knowledge, skills to save lives

  • Published
  • By Maj. Shane Balken
  • 28th Bomb Wing
"Be prepared." Although this has been the Boy Scouts of America motto for years, these two words have long since transcended everything the U.S. military stands for.

One example of this can be found in the Airmen of the 28th Medical Group Education and Training Flight, where Airmen take on the job of ensuring personnel are prepared to respond to a variety of life-threatening situations.

Tech. Sgt. Korrin Leonard, 28th MDG Education and Training NCO in charge who oversees Ellsworth's basic life support courses, said among the many courses taught, the CPR and automated external defibrillator class is offered to Airmen who require training for their jobs or to individuals who are interested in learning how to save a life.

The course - offered more than five times each month - focuses on the steps, skills and knowledge necessary to perform CPR and utilize an AED.

Lt. Col. LeAnn Lamb, 28th MDG Education and Training Flight director, manages the base's Public Access Defibrillation Program. She said there are 23 AEDs located in facilities across the base including the Commissary, Bellamy Fitness Center and the Base Exchange.

Lamb said she works alongside Maj. Cecelia Tatsumi, 28th MDG medical director, to ensure AEDs are strategically placed in areas where there is a greater chance of someone having cardiac trouble.

"The faster Airmen can get a defibrillator on someone experiencing cardiac trouble, the higher their chance of survival," Leonard noted. "Every facility that is equipped with an AED has a site coordinator and individuals who are target responders trained in CPR and AED use."

Lamb recalled a situation where a man in the fitness center lost consciousness and stopped breathing.

"We quickly began conducting CPR, placed an AED on him and after one shock, he started breathing again," Lamb said. "With the help of the defibrillator, his life was saved."

Airman First Class Danielle Gregg, 28th Force Support Squadron command support technician, has been in the Air Force for more than two years and recently attended a CPR and AED class.

"I really just wanted to take the class for self improvement," Gregg said. "It's always good to have extra knowledge. You never know when the skills taught in this class will be needed."

Rick Davis, 28th Communication Squadron telecommunications specialist, volunteers to coach during youth soccer games and said CPR and AED certification is mandatory for all coaches.

Davis said Airmen can find themselves in a situation when having these skills can make the difference between life and death.

"I came across a car accident a while ago," said Davis. "The driver was injured, and while I didn't have to perform CPR, I stayed on scene until the ambulance came and kept talking to him to prevent him from going into shock." Davis said having the confidence to perform CPR if necessary was very helpful.

Lamb added that life-saving courses can help Airmen develop skills that may prove useful in an emergency situation.

"Having the skills and knowing the steps to save a life, especially those who work in high-risk areas, is crucial," Lamb said.

For more information or to sign up for the next CPR and AED class, call Leonard at (605) 385-3788.