National Disaster Medical training takes over areas of GSP Inter - FOX Carolina 21

National Disaster Medical training takes over areas of GSP International Airport

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National Disaster Medical drill takes over areas of GSP International Airport. (FOX Carolina/ May 9, 2018). National Disaster Medical drill takes over areas of GSP International Airport. (FOX Carolina/ May 9, 2018).
GREER, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A hurricane devoured and destroyed a region, forcing critical-care patients with various medical needs to evacuate. Many of them are put a C-17 military aircraft and head to the Upstate.

"We never know when the next disaster is going to strike," Lt. Col. John Clouse said.

Some of the patients are rushed to triage tents to get medical help, while others need help immediately. Even though the description of this scenario is just a drill, it's a reality for those who are training at GSP International Airport. 

"We train as we fight. We fight as we train, as we say in the military," Clouse said.

He's the operations chief for the Federal Coordinating Center out of Columbia.

"We have a great coalition that works up here in the Upstate as well as one in the Midlands," Clouse said.

Federal, state, and local agencies took over an area of GSP for the National Disaster Medical (NDM) System. Those who participated put their training into action when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. 

"Some of those patients were very sick and had nothing and had not been seen for weeks," Jeff Staub said.

He works with HERT, which stands for Hospital Emergency Response Team, a part of the NDM system.

"Making sure that we start A to Z - we've located that patient, we know where they are. We can communicate with their families," Straub said.

Those who work with agencies have roles that range from security to communications to medical needs.

"We also have our aviation strike team, which is here to help with the aircraft as they hit the tarmac," Lt. Col. Richard Patton said.

He's a commander with the 2nd Brigade South Carolina State Guard.

"We do search and rescue missions," Patton said.

So, although the chaos isn't real this time, they want to be ready when it is.

"It's a chance to see what works, what doesn't work," Patton said.

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