An Unforgettable Independence Day

  • Published
  • By Lt Justin Phillips
  • FLNG Public Affairs
The Florida Air National Guard's Lt. Col. Sandy Lindsay, recently spent a holiday with a medical team transporting injured military personnel home from the battlefield.

Lindsay, a 125th Fighter Wing Critical Care Nurse, is deployed as a part of the Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT). The team transports wounded soldiers from Southwest Asia to Landstuhl, Germany, and then on to the United States.

The team's July 4th started with mission prep at 6:45 a.m. in Germany, as they took to the air around lunch time to deliver injured service members home to the U.S. Lindsay's three person team was responsible for two patients--their goal was to get their fellow service members home to the U.S. in stable condition. They arrived safely in the U.S. by dinner time, delivered the patients just to board another aircraft and return to Germany at 4:00 p.m., July 5th.

One of their patients suffered severe battle injuries and required extensive treatment prior to and during flight. The injuries were complex, with multiple fractures, surgical, spinal and medical problems. Extreme caution must be taken prior to flight due to the stresses involved with flight such as vibration, gas expansion, low partial pressure of oxygen and low humidity. The team changed his plan of care for flight, significantly when compared to treatment on the ground.

"Our plan was successful-we anticipated and treated their problems, delivering them just a little more stable," Lindsay explains.

The team Lindsay is on is referred to as the "Guard Team" as it is made up of her and two other National Guard members.

"My doctor runs a civilian Emergency Department and he is collaborative and cool under pressure. My Respiratory Therapist is very sharp, great with clinical skills and the operational side of the mission," Lindsay said.

This is a prime example of what the Florida Air National Guard brings to the fight, providing highly qualified and experienced professionals that come in and make immediate impact on the mission. Lindsay's impact goes beyond her providing medical care; she wrote the training syllabus for CCATT and is considered a USAF Subject Matter Expert on these missions.