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726th AMS conducts fall protection exercise

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam King, 726th Air Mobility Squadron support section NCOIC, suspends a training dummy from an aircraft maintenance lift at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The dummy was suspended to simulate an Airman falling off the wing of an aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam King, 726th Air Mobility Squadron support section NCOIC, suspends a training dummy from an aircraft maintenance lift at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The dummy was suspended to simulate an Airman falling off the wing of an aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Morrissey, 726th Air Mobility Squadron systems craftsman, radios in a simulated fall for a rescue exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The fall protection exercise is part of annual training members of the 726th AMS undergo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Morrissey, 726th Air Mobility Squadron systems craftsman, radios in a simulated fall for a rescue exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The fall protection exercise is part of annual training members of the 726th AMS undergo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Morrissey, 726th Air Mobility Squadron electrical and environmental systems craftsman, right, and Senior Airman Billy Meyer, C-17 instrument and flight control system journeyman, left, position an aircraft maintenance lift to rescue a training dummy during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The Airmen had to successfully perform the rescue within six minutes to satisfactorily complete the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Morrissey, 726th Air Mobility Squadron electrical and environmental systems craftsman, right, and Senior Airman Billy Meyer, C-17 instrument and flight control system journeyman, left, position an aircraft maintenance lift to rescue a training dummy during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The Airmen had to successfully perform the rescue within six minutes to satisfactorily complete the training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam King, 726th Air Mobility Squadron support section NCOIC, top, observes as Senior Airman Billy Meyer, C-17 instrument and flight control system journeyman, bottom, rescues a training dummy during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The exercise was designed to provide a realistic training environment to prepare Airmen for a real world rescue situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Adam King, 726th Air Mobility Squadron support section NCOIC, top, observes as Senior Airman Billy Meyer, C-17 instrument and flight control system journeyman, bottom, rescues a training dummy during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The exercise was designed to provide a realistic training environment to prepare Airmen for a real world rescue situation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Loren Martin, 726th Air Mobility Squadron flight line expediter, left, and Tech. Sgt. Chad Kearney, 726th AMS quality assurance inspector, right, ensure members of the 726th AMS correctly perform rescue procedures during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The annual exercise is intended to help Airmen be better prepared to rescue their wingman if someone falls off an aircraft wing during an aircraft inspection. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Loren Martin, 726th Air Mobility Squadron flight line expediter, left, and Tech. Sgt. Chad Kearney, 726th AMS quality assurance inspector, right, ensure members of the 726th AMS correctly perform rescue procedures during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The annual exercise is intended to help Airmen be better prepared to rescue their wingman if someone falls off an aircraft wing during an aircraft inspection. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Morrissey, 726th Air Mobility Squadron electrical and environmental systems craftsman, left, and Senior Airman Billy Meyer, C-17 instrument and flight control system journeyman, right, use an aircraft maintenance lift to move a training dummy during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The Airmen completed the exercise as part of fall protection training that included the practical exercise, a computer based training and safety harness familiarization. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Morrissey, 726th Air Mobility Squadron electrical and environmental systems craftsman, left, and Senior Airman Billy Meyer, C-17 instrument and flight control system journeyman, right, use an aircraft maintenance lift to move a training dummy during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The Airmen completed the exercise as part of fall protection training that included the practical exercise, a computer based training and safety harness familiarization. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force firefighters from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron arrive in response to a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The exercise was designed to help Airmen be better prepared to respond to life-threatening emergencies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force firefighters from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron arrive in response to a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The exercise was designed to help Airmen be better prepared to respond to life-threatening emergencies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force firefighters from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron secure a dummy to a backboard during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The firefighters partnered with the 726th Air Mobility Squadron to perform the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

U.S. Air Force firefighters from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron secure a dummy to a backboard during a fall protection exercise at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Jan. 23, 2020. The firefighters partnered with the 726th Air Mobility Squadron to perform the training exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

Airmen from the 726th Air Mobility Squadron and the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron conducted a fall protection training exercise, on January 23, 2020, at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

Exercises like these are important to provide Airmen the skills needed to prevent life threatening injuries, should an Airman fall from an aircraft wing.

“The guys do not do these all the time,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Eric Justice, 726th Air Mobility Squadron aircraft hydraulics technician. “For them to be able to actively perform the procedures when required, it helps when the time comes that they are confident in what they are about to do and hopefully save someone who might be unconscious because they slipped and fell. Invaluable training.”

In the event a member has been suspended from his harness there is something that can occur called orthostatic intolerance, otherwise known as suspension trauma.

“The longer a member is suspended from their harness, the more that puts them into a risk factor of life threatening emergency called suspension trauma in about five to six minutes, which restricts the blood flow to the extremities,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Omar Salih, 726th Air Mobility Squadron occupational safety NCOIC.

Exercise organizers were pleased with how quickly the Airmen completed the exercise and noted that the exercise highlighted the importance of being prepared, particularly having aircraft maintenance stands on-site, lifts used by Airmen to access various parts of the aircraft.

“I think the team today did very well, three minutes and 28 seconds, almost cut the time in half,” Justice said. “I can speak from experience, when we are out there, and we have people ready, stands are ready. We do not let anyone up on the wing before we have a stand there.”

In addition to the practical exercise part of the training, the Airmen had other learning requirements included in the training to ensure comprehensive readiness.

“This is training we have to do every 12 months,” Justice said. “There is a computer based training and you have to go over the harness. You have to know all the key points, we try to teach them as often as we can.”

Facilitators organized the training to provide a realistic training environment to ensure Airmen are ready to act in the event of an emergency.

“Although we will be using a dummy, we want our Airmen to have that same intensity and importance of rescuing an Airman if they were to fall off an aircraft,” Salih said. “The most important part is getting our Airmen the realistic training aspect. To provide their wingman the necessary support they would need in the event of an emergency.”