Speaker: Combat Medic and Flight Paramedic, New York Army National Guard, 2005-Present
“How has military medicine affected civilian medicine? Astronomically. As a professional career, I'm a firefighter paramedic. When I first became an EMT in 2003, tourniquets were like, ‘Oh my gosh, if you put a tourniquet on a limb, you might as well write it off. They're going to cut it off. That's crazy. Don't ever do it.’ And now, less than a week ago, I put four tourniquets on a motorcycle accident.
I have the ability firsthand to see exactly what 20 years of military medicine in combat has transpired into our civilian side and it's going to help, as usual, it's going to help push that prehospital trauma life support system to make sure that it's providing the best for the American public.”
Speaker: Captain Tonjus Mason of the United States Public Health Service discusses her experience while deployed at the New York City Javits Center as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic—demonstrating the way military medicine impacts civilian medicine, especially during a national crisis.
“When COVID was first being identified, I knew that I wanted to be there and I wanted to do something in some capacity. We essentially built an alternative acute care setting in what otherwise was an entertainment facility, the Javits Center and so strategically, there was a lot of thought and planning that was done.
It did, you know, set the tone, set the model for what, our responses could be if we ever had them to this magnitude. An officer in uniform is not just a nurse, right? They're not just a doctor. Their career takes them to so many different levels of training. It was really my honor being able to serve and providing that compassionate care. And to serve someone at the most vulnerable point in their life, I'm just honored to have been able to do that.”
Speaker: Served as a Physician Assistant in two tours to Afghanistan (2009-2010) and Kuwait (2013-2014), Currently works as the Medical Standards Officer and Aeromedical Physician Assistant, New York Army National Guard’s Office of the State Surgeon and resides in New York’s Capital Region.
“On the civilian side, I never I never slept in the same room with 40 of my potential patients. I never, you know, stayed up most of the night with any of my patients. I never lived with them day in and day out. Even though it's more often than not the casualty that comes to you may not be someone exactly in your unit, they're still the same family. Army medicine exists because of the soldier. They will do whatever it takes to get the job done, which means we're going to do whatever it takes to take care of them.
I think that you will see advances in technology. There's discussions about evacuation robots, surgical robots, discussions of drones dropping whole blood. I certainly am not afraid that a machine is going to replace us. All of that technology is wonderful. There's no way it can feel the responsibility of, you know, looking that kid in the eyes, promising him that we're going to we're going to do everything we can to fix it. It is this unbelievably powerful experience. Technology will help, as it has in the past, but it really is, you know, the people taking care of people that will make all the difference.”