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Injured Fort Bragg Soldiers Get Medevac Help From Their Own Units

Medics in training at Fort Bragg
Sgt. April de Armas/82nd CAB, Fort Bragg
Medics in training at Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg is now using its own medical evacuation teams to move injured soldiers to major hospitals. 

The Army base used to rely on helicopters from Duke and UNC Hospitals to transport soldiers who were seriously injured during training exercises, but since the troop drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, more of the 82nd Airborne's Medevac teams are on the base.

Medevac units can get soldiers to Durham or Chapel Hill more quickly, according to Lt. Col. Sean Fortson, chief of emergency medicine at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center.

"And that's important for us and also for the aviation unit because it helps to maintain their readiness and their abilities to conduct this same mission in a battlefield setting," Fortson said.

The base conducts about 30 Medevac operations every month for soldiers who need more care than Womack can give them, according to Fortson.

"That's usually very unique sub-specialties: neurosurgery, some very specific interventional cardiology, intensive-type specialties," he said.

The teams will also be available to move civilians on base if they need air transportation.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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