Lifesaving Airman acts out of instinct

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Jenna Bond
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

“Everyone says each deployment you do better than the last one,” said Masters. “The deployment before, we had maybe 14 cases of COVID-19, and on this deployment, there were 405, which we were not prepared for.”

Masters and her team took this challenge head-on and found a way to care for far more people than they had staffing or resources for to make their deployment successful.


“We had about two medical shelters built when we got there, and we went up to about 15 by the time we left,” said Masters. “It was a big work in progress.”       


The United Arab Emirates had approximately 885,000 total positive COVID-19 cases with around 2,000 deaths during a spike of cases in mid-June 2021.


“When we were at peak outbreak, we would test a couple hundred a day, and we could only test five patients at a time,” said Masters. “Unfortunately, people would be waiting hours and hours just to find out if they had COVID-19, let alone get treated.”


Even with such a high tempo, Masters kept up with her COVID-19 patients and her routine patient care, and when she found a woman outside of sick call in desperate need of help, she was quick to respond.


“I found the patient, put her on oxygen in our sick call tent, and myself and another technician took her inside on a stretcher,” said Masters. “Inside, we had a team of providers and nurses waiting in our treatment room to give additional care like an IV and medications.”


Between finding the patient and continuing care with the providers, nurses, and technicians, they could air evacuate the patient to Germany to recover.


 “She came back after being air evacuated to Germany and finished her deployment,” said Masters. “Not many of our patients who got air evacuated would come back. She was one of the few.”


The medical field may not have been Master’s first pick of assignment, but this experience gave her a new perspective on her job.


“It could have been anyone who found her, and all of the medics are capable of doing what I did, but it does put in perspective I can save someone's life,” said Masters. “What I do here on base may not necessarily be immediate lifesaving interventions, but that is something we are trained to do and maybe faced with, so we must remain ready.”


Masters gave someone a new lease on life as a true testament to the capabilities of the U.S. Air Force’s mighty medics.