Last Updated: February 8th, 2024By

A team of medical responders on Fort Knox in Kentucky worked on two heat casualties May 24, 2022. They rushed to get the two Soldiers onto the M997 Field Litter Ambulance, and back to Role 2 Field Hospital. 

In reality, these Soldiers did not have heat injuries. This was a coordinated training exercise to prepare the medical team for Cadet Summer Training. There were a number of training scenarios throughout the day that helped the medical team practice necessary responses. This practice prepares the medical team to respond in case of Cadet injury during the summer.

Pvt. Alex Velasquez with 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment from Fort Polk, Louisiana was one of the heat casualty victims. 

“We got tasked to be casualties, heat casualties, in a field event,” Velasquez said. “And that was to give the medics, Task Force Med, a reason to come out and practice their skills in order for them to save us and bring us back to safety.”

Pfc. Raven Carter was one of the medics, who worked on both of the training scenarios. She said the first scenario was a rollover with trauma victims. The second training scenario involved heat casualties. 

Carter said she thought the heat casualty training scenario went well. 

“I wasn’t there when he came to pick up the casualty,” Carter said. “I was just there as he was transporting it to the airfield. So pretty much, my job was just to make sure the patient was not declining.” 

The medics worked on the heat casualty victims in the field, and in the Role 2 Field Hospital before transporting them to the airfield. 

“They checked my vital signs first,” Velasquez said. “Then they put me on a litter, put me in the Humvee, and gave me an IV. Then they went and since I was a heat casualty, they cooled me off with some cold water.”

After they worked on the two heat casualties in the field, the medical team transported them to the airfield to evacuate them to the University of Louisville hospital.

The helicopter did not fly out of the airfield. The training exercise concluded when they had loaded the men into the helicopter in preparation for transport. 

Cadet summer training begins May 26 when the first Cadets arrive. This training includes events such as land navigation, physical fitness tests, and other leadership building exercises that Cadets have to pass to become commissioned officers. These medical training exercises will help keep the Cadets safe over the summer. 

About the Author: Erinn Finley
Erinn Finley
Erinn Finley is a senior at Murray State University majoring in journalism. She enjoys writing, reading, travel and photography. She worked for the student newspaper at her campus to further her writing skills outside of the classroom. During the Cadet Summer Training internship, she hopes to further her photography and writing skills.