WARSAW — In an hour and 15 minutes, a full-scale mobile field hospital was set up at the Warsaw Municipal Airport on Saturday, Aug. 27.
The Indiana Guard Reserve partnered with the Indiana State Department of Health, the First Brigade in Fort Wayne, and the Second Brigade in Lafayette to hold this exercise designed to prepare members of the Indiana Guard Reserve how to respond in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or search and rescue.
This mobile field hospital will allow the IGR and the Indiana State Department of Health to set up a mobile hospital that could be a stand-in if a disaster were to occur that would render the community medical facilities unusable. The hospital can be used anywhere in state
The mobile field hospital is complete with two pods, air conditioning, cots, a generator, bathrooms, showers and other equipment that would be used for the hospital.
All the supplies for the hospital are packed into one trailer. After the supplies from the trailer are removed, the trailer can be utilized for sleeping quarters and a partition allows for office space.
“It’s pretty fantastic,” said Colonel Mark Griffith of the IGR.
There are three trailers for mobile hospitals in the state positioned in the central, southern and northern parts of Indiana.
The training event was completely simulated as if there were a natural disaster. A communications center was set up to allow the participants to communicate through radio. Those who entered the training area were met with a member of the IGR to state their intent before they were allowed to enter.
A helicopter flew in from Rochester, allowing members of the IGR to use a volunteer to simulate carrying a victim across the field into the helicopter.
The IGR is formed solely of volunteers. Volunteers give one day a month to help with the state wide response for disasters and search and rescue. In addition to one day a month, volunteers also participate in annual training and other events the IGR holds. While 65 percent of volunteers have prior military experience, many people have little to no experience in the military, but simply desire to give back to the community.
“We have lawyers, doctors and sales people,” said Terry Heifetz, public affairs officer of the IGR.