En-route Patient Staging Flight helps injured service members soar home

A volunteer for the En-route Patient Staging program helps guide a medical bus on the flightline on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. Patients remain on the bus until accommodations on the plane are ideal for travel.

A volunteer for the En-route Patient Staging program helps guide a medical bus on the flightline on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. Patients remain on the bus until accommodations on the plane are ideal for travel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)

A volunteer for the En-route Patient Staging program prepares to place a block underneath the tire of a medical bus on the flightline of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. ERPS uses buses to transport injured service members from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to Ramstein’s airfield.

A volunteer for the En-route Patient Staging program prepares to place a block underneath the tire of a medical bus on the flightline of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. ERPS uses buses to transport injured service members from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to Ramstein’s airfield. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)

Deployed U.S. Airmen assigned to the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare for the arrival of injured service members on the Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. The two squadrons are responsible for patient safety and upkeep while traveling from Europe to the U.S.

Deployed U.S. Airmen assigned to the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron prepare for the arrival of injured service members on the Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. The two squadrons are responsible for patient safety and upkeep while traveling from Europe to the U.S. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)

A U.S. Airman waits to see if any other supplies are needed for an aeromedical evacuation mission on the flightline of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. Several units lend a hand in order for the weekly patient movements to be successful.

A U.S. Airman waits to see if any other supplies are needed for an aeromedical evacuation mission on the flightline of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Oct. 26, 2017. Several units lend a hand in order for the weekly patient movements to be successful. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Milton Hamilton)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The En-route Patient Staging Flight bussed injured service members for a routine patient transfer from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to Ramstein Air Base, Oct. 26.

“The ERPSF is part of the patient movement system responsible for transporting patients from point of injury to definitive treatment,” said Tech. Sgt. Maya Baker, 86th Aerospace Medical Squadron, ERPSF flight chief.

The ERPSF manages missions arriving from Europe, Africa, Central Asia, and the United States. It is the focal point in transporting wounded warriors, dependents, NATO forces and civilians between the aircraft and military or civilian medical facilities, said Baker.

Every day the organization is focused on their primary goals, which are to succeed in the mission, promote health and develop Airmen.

“We provide high-quality health care that ensures Airmen are ready to answer our nation’s call,” said Baker. “We promote health by caring for one another, by supporting resilient Airmen, promoting prevention, and providing patient-centered care. We become better by developing Airman whom become proficient and knowledgeable leaders.”

The ERPS works with volunteers to prepare patients for transport to the U.S. twice a week. Injured service members are moved by bus from a local medical facility then are loaded onto a plane to the states, said Baker.

The typical aircraft used for missions are the C-17 Globemaster III. They have launched and recovered from a C-21 (Learjet), a KC-135 (Stratotanker), as well as various civilian aircraft. On average they launch and recover 45 aeromedical evacuations a month.

“ERPS collaborates with several different agencies on patient movement requirements and transport such as the Theater Patient Movement Requirements Center-Europe, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the 603 Air and Space Operations Center, the 10th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron,” said Baker.

Any active duty service member, without physical limitations, is eligible to volunteer to help transport patients. Members interested in volunteering for ERPS should email 86amds.erps@us.af.mil.