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Malian Medics Train for Worst-Case Scenario
Malian medics, doctors and nurses put their skills to the test during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, in a village near Bamako, Mali. <br /> <br />Medics received a call late Friday morning alerting them about a simulated bus crash. They
BAMAKO, Mali - Lieutenant Colonel Duane Tucker talks with Malian medical personnel about proper triage during the mass casualty portion of MEDFLAG 08, July 18, 2008. More than 90 service members deployed to Bamako, Mali, for MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Dorus)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: BAMAKO, Mali - Lieutenant Colonel Duane Tucker talks with Malian medical personnel about proper triage during the mass casualty portion of MEDFLAG 08, July 18, 2008. More than 90 service members deployed to Bamako, Mali, for MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Dorus) Download full-resolution version
BAMAKO, Mali - Lieutenant Colonel Troy McGilvra, commander of MEDFLAG 08, gives Malian Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe a tour of the Expeditionary Medical Support facility during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, at a village near Bamako, Mali. During the exercise, participants of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise, were evaluated on their response to a simulated bus crash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Dorus)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: BAMAKO, Mali - Lieutenant Colonel Troy McGilvra, commander of MEDFLAG 08, gives Malian Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe a tour of the Expeditionary Medical Support facility during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, at a village near Bamako, Mali. During the exercise, participants of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise, were evaluated on their response to a simulated bus crash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Dorus) Download full-resolution version
BAMAKO, Mali - Malian medics, doctors and nurses put their skills to the test during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, in a village near Bamako, Mali. The medical team was evaluated on its response to a simulated bus crash. During the week leading up to the exercise, participants learned patient evaluation and triage procedures and litter carry techniques. The mass casualty scenario is part of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Weaver)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: BAMAKO, Mali - Malian medics, doctors and nurses put their skills to the test during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, in a village near Bamako, Mali. The medical team was evaluated on its response to a simulated bus crash. During the week leading up to the exercise, participants learned patient evaluation and triage procedures and litter carry techniques. The mass casualty scenario is part of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Weaver) Download full-resolution version
BAMAKO, Mali - Lieutenant Colonel Duane Tucker talks with Malian medical personnel about proper triage during the mass casualty portion of MEDFLAG 08, July 18, 2008. More than 90 service members deployed to Bamako, Mali, for MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Dorus)
BAMAKO, Mali - Lieutenant Colonel Troy McGilvra, commander of MEDFLAG 08, gives Malian Prime Minister Modibo Sidibe a tour of the Expeditionary Medical Support facility during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, at a village near Bamako, Mali. During the exercise, participants of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise, were evaluated on their response to a simulated bus crash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael S. Dorus)
BAMAKO, Mali - Malian medics, doctors and nurses put their skills to the test during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, in a village near Bamako, Mali. The medical team was evaluated on its response to a simulated bus crash. During the week leading up to the exercise, participants learned patient evaluation and triage procedures and litter carry techniques. The mass casualty scenario is part of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justin Weaver)
Malian medics, doctors and nurses put their skills to the test during a mass casualty exercise July 18, 2008, in a village near Bamako, Mali.

Medics received a call late Friday morning alerting them about a simulated bus crash. They arrived at the scene within minutes to see a bus and a smaller vehicle on its side blocking a roundabout with people posing as injured patients lying on the road.

Due to a limited number of ambulances in Mali, vans and trucks were also used to help transport the victims. The Malian medical team was evaluated on proper triage of patients, litter techniques, and transportation of the victims to the hospital.

The mass casualty scenario was part of MEDFLAG 08, a multi-national medical training exercise designed to enhance medical capabilities and readiness for U.S. and African forces. More than 90 service members deployed to Mali for the two-week long exercise.

"MEDFLAG 08 provides an excellent opportunity for the U.S. to work side-by-side with our Malian medics," said Colonel (Dr.) Schuyler Geller, Africa Command surgeon general. "This mass casualty exercise helped train the Malians on pre-hospital care and I hope it will help the medics in the future should they face this type of situation."

Throughout the week leading up to the exercise, U.S. service members trained medics and doctors on proper litter carry techniques, patient evaluation and triage procedures.

"The hands-on training was the most enjoyable," said Lieutenant Colonel (Dr.)Joseph Connolly, Chief of aerospace medicine, Aviano Air Base, Italy. "We gave the medics test cases and everyone got to share their opinions on what they thought the problems were and how to solve it."

"The mass casualty scenario we setup was a very realistic problem Malians face here," added Connolly.

With only a limited number of ambulances and virtually no training on mass casualty accidents, Malian medics were excited to learn proper pre-hospital care.

Geller said he was pleased to see the turnout and support of the Prime Minister of Mali, Modibo Sidibe, and other high-ranking Malian officials for the mass casualty exercise.

"Our interactions with the Malian government and medics have been a win-win situation," Colonel Geller said. "Exercises like MEDFLAG 08 help improve the security and stability of Mali and enforce AFRICOMs focus of 'Add value and do no harm.'"
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