27 October 2009

Ramstein CASF to reach 100,000 patient transfers in October

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Laura Small, 86th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility medical technician, unloads gurneys at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. The gurneys will be used to transport wound warriors to an aircraft taking them to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for further medical treatment. U.S. Air Force photo: Senior Airman Nathan Lipscomb.

Another part of the incredible chain of life-saving logistics required to move our Wounded Warriors out of theater and on to higher levels of medical care.

CASF to reach major milestone in warrior care

By Senior Airman Amanda Dick, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/19/2009 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 86th Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility here will soon be reaching a new milestone since opening its doors and receiving its first patient six years ago.

A major player in providing critical care to wounded warriors, the facility is scheduled to complete its 100,000th patient movement sometime between now and late October, fitting as November is Warrior Care Month.

According to Maj. Rebecca Dols, CASF health services administrator, the number of patient movements was at 99,837 as of Oct. 13.

The one hundred members of the CASF provide support and medical care to servicemembers injured during Overseas Contingency Operations as they await transit back to the United States. They also transport patients from Ramstein's flightline to Landstuhl Regional Medical Facility, Germany.

"The mission is basically to provide ground support for patients that are coming into and out of Ramstein on their way to definitive care," said. Maj. Mark Knitz, 86th CASF flight commander. "The kind of support we provide is ground transport, en route medical care and staging and preparation at the CASF."

The facility operates around-the-clock and consists of a joint-force staff of active duty, guard and reservists, including one Soldier, one Marine and one Canadian military liaison.

"I think it's been a great honor, working here," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Cynthia Shepard, CASF Army liaison. "Currently not being deployed downrange, this is the next level of being there -- making patients feel comfortable when they get back and letting them know someone is here for them in their time of need. We make patients feel at home."

The facility began taking patients in 2003 from Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and was set up to provide care for those who couldn't receive treatment at Aeromedical Staging Facilities and Mobile ASFs during those operations.

One of the gurneys delivered by the CASF personnel stands ready to transport a patient to the following morning's US-bound medevac flight in front of a showcase with a Soldiers’ Angels backpack on one of the medical/surgical wards at Landstuhl hospital. At 2200 the night before a medevac mission, Air Force personnel pick up "baggage" and park a gurney for each outgoing patient in the hallway of their ward.

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