CAMP RIPLEY -- The National Guard is full of many different units that come and train at Camp Ripley to prepare for what obstacles lie ahead for a solider.

No one ever wants to see a solider in action injured in the line of battle, but that happens and its the job of the 204th Medical Aviation Unit to help extract wounded soldiers to safety.

A lot of different parts go into making Aviation Unit able to do its job. From fueling and delivering the fuel to the helicopters, to routine check ups on the the helicopters



"We prepare the helicopter each morning," says Sgt Becky Loscheider. "We do a daily inspection on the aircraft just to make sure it's flight worthy."

The cab of the helicopter can hold a max of eleven people at one time and the medic and crew chief are ones responsible for treating the patients they have on board.

These guys don't want to spend too much time on the ground. From the time they land, pick up their patient and get back in the air again, the process takes five minutes or less.

"We don't want to be on the ground longer than three to five minutes," says Neil Scott. "It's usually around two from the time we land to when we are back in the air."

When back in the states they practice by flying around the post, and landing at designated areas. Then they pick up a solider and the medic on board will practice treating them just like they would in Afghanistan.

The job of the Medical Aviation Unit is a stressful and rewarding one, and when they see that wounded solider on board they know this is why the joined the team.

"When we see those live patients on board that we pick up in Afghanistan," says Sgt Loscheider. "It really makes sense as to why we are here and what we do."


The 204th Medical Aviation Unit go through their routine training. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)
The 204th Medical Aviation Unit go through their routine training. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)


“Everyday Heroes” is a weekly WJON News feature spotlighting those who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.

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