Green Beret and Paratrooper medics from 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) conducted training in April to prepare to support Evans Army Community Hospital and 4th Infantry Division during the Coronavirus pandemic, at Fort Carson, Colorado.
Fort Carson declared a public health emergency March 24th based on multiple confirmed cases in the surrounding communities to help limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus while maintaining mission readiness.
The medics took part in training under the SOCRATES program – Special Operations COVID-19 Rapid Assessment, Treatment and Emergency Support. The SOCRATES program ensures all 10th SFG(A) medical personnel with prior medical experience are competent in assessing, treating, and providing contingency critical care and ventilator support to COVID-19 patients in a hospital or field setting. This will help them to sustain life in a contingency event where existing medical resources are exhausted.
“This training is important because it gets our guys out of the battlefield mindset and gets them back into a clinical civilian hospital mindset. Going over things they would see in an intensive care or step-down unit, all places our medics could potentially be force multipliers for the hospital and the local community.Quote by a senior Special Operations Combat Medic assigned to 10th SFG(A).
The SOCRATES training consists of refresher online training and discussion on the current best practices of COVID-19 as they continue to evolve, patient monitoring, nursing care, pharmacology, basic medical assessment, treatment of patients and triage treatment and procedures. The program culminates with hands on training with COVID-19 relevant medical equipment both organic to military personnel and the equipment civilians operate.
In addition to the SOCRATES training the SF medics also completed critical care course training with the Evans Army Community Hospital education department. The training brought the medics problem-solving skillset one step closer to directly supporting the medical needs in the local community if needed.
The critical care course familiarizes 10th Group personnel with standard operating procedures and special equipment used at the Fort Carson hospital. The course also covered critical care topics in pharmacology and how different medicines relate to COVID-19, acute respiratory failure, and critical care procedures.
10th Group is also supporting the base hospital with their 3D printers. Their equipment is being used to make personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel. (See Facebook video posted by 20th SFGA on April 14, 2020).
To date the number of coronavirus cases in the Fort Carson area have remained well within the capacity of the Evans Army Community Hospital. Aggressive social distancing has been having positive effects on the spread of the virus.
Depending on how the situation plays out, the 10th Special Forces Group medics could have a limited role or an all hands-on deck situation. Either way the SOF medics will be actively supporting the fight against the Coronavirus.
Editor’s Note: The above article derived from two stories published by 10th SFGA on DVIDS: “10th Special Forces prepares to assist in Carson COVID-19 Fight” (April 7, 2020) and “10th Group Innovation to Assist at Evans Army Community Hospital” (April 9, 2020). Both authored by SFC Charles Crail, 10th SFG(A).
Photo: A Special Forces senior combat medic assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), demonstrates the proper use of the Eagle Impact ventilator as part of the Special Operations COVID-19 Rapid Assessment, Treatment, and Emergency Services (SOCRATES) training. The SOCRATES program prepares 10th SFG(A) medical elements to support Evans Army Community Hospital and 4th Infantry Division during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt.1st Class Steven Alger)