We are Extractors and we are here to help

  • Published
  • By Cheran Cambridge
  • 106th Rescue Wing

"I guess you can call us the Pararescue (PJ) of the CERFP Unit" said Master Sergeant Foy, Chemical, Biological ,Radiological, Nuclear emergency response force (CERFP) extractor and 106th Rescue Wing Medical Technician.
On November 14th and 15th, 106th Rescue Wing CERFP extractors, Master Sergeant Foy and Technical Sergeant Carroll participated in a Collective Training Event (CTE) to practice their extraction skills at the 107th Air Wing in Niagara and Cheektowga Fire Training Academy in Erie County. 
The exercise during this CTE scenario involved an explosion during a wrestling tournament with 19,000 people in attendance. It was a determined to be a chemical suicide and most of the people got out but there were still 500 people still trapped inside. This where the CERFP extractors come in. The extractors are the first responders to any Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear emergency.
Being part of the search and extraction team, as a medical extractor we work with the army engineers. We go in and make a 360 degree sweep and look for any walking wounded which we take out immediately. A second search team goes in and tags all of the victims that are not able to walk or are trapped in. Then, the third team goes into extract specific victims that may need to be extracted from the underneath a rubble, car or hazardous areas. Foy explained
The extraction team is able to sure up collapsing structures, gain entry into confined spaces such as sewers and rubble piles.
"Myself and other extraction medics go in, stabiles the patients where they are found, package them up for transport and get them out of the area. We then bring them to the hot zone triage where we hand them off to the army where they can be decontaminated of chemical or biological hazards," Foy describes
The patient is then moved to the medical operations tent where they get re triaged and get transported to the proper facilities.  
CERFP extractor training is done in Oklahoma City and includes hands on lessons in varies situations. Students are taught how to stabilize a structure quickly, move vehicles without causing more damage to the patient and basic stabilization in confined spaces.     
SSgt Bennett ,109th extraction team member attended extraction school four years ago and was excited to be able to use her experience during this CTE. She described the school as being a "Fun, new experience."
Carroll's experience being an extractor has enhanced her skills as a New York City policer officer and as a medical technician. 

In my civilian job, I am able to apply these skills in a variety of different ways.  It helps me to maintain calm when the situation is chaotic.  It allows me to step back, assess and determine what resources I need, and the safest way to produce results.  Carrol said. We are also more equipped in our day to day duties as a medical technician, because we get used to working at a higher pace under time constraints and a more hectic environment. she added

Like in every section of the CERPF Unit, the extractor team all come from different New York Air National Guard Bases like the 105th , 107th, 109th , 174th and team work is key to being a successful CERP extractor.
We are a cohesive unit that works well together. We train hard and the extractors are a great group of individuals.  We are able to decompress and relax but when we need to, I feel extremely confident that if the time came for an actual disaster response, we are able to step up and handle whatever is thrown our way." Carrol explained

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