Fort Defiance Industries (FDI) begins receiving orders for another round of Potable and Wastewater Distribution Systems for U.S. Army Field Hospitals.
Last week at DSEI 2019 in London, England, Fort Defiance Industries (FDI) was excited to introduce the capabilities of the P2131 Field Steam Sterilizer to military experts from US allies around the world.
Fort Defiance Industries was pleased to attend the recent Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS). This event was a chance for FDI to gain insight into the world’s leading scientific research being conducted specifically for combat medical innovations. John Hodges, Vice President of FDI, said, “We were able to speak with and learn from the world’s premier scientists conducting the research, as well as the doctors and nurses that know what works and what does not work in combat situations. This is valuable to us at FDI as we design the next generation of combat medical equipment.”
About the MHSRS
The MHSRS is the Department of Defense’s premier scientific meeting. It provides a venue for presenting new scientific knowledge resulting from military-unique research and development. The MHSRS is the only military or civilian meeting that focuses specifically on the unique medical needs of the Warfighter.
The MHSRS provides a collaborative setting for the exchange of information between military providers with deployment experience, research and academic scientists, international partners, and industry on research and related health care initiatives falling under the topic areas of Combat Casualty Care, Military Operational Medicine, Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Medical Simulation and Information Sciences, Military Infectious Diseases, and the Radiation Health Effects.
The MHSRS is an annual four-day educational symposium that draws approximately 2,900 attendees.
Fort Defiance Industries (FDI) has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Navy for Phase I development of a Portable Ruggedized Energy Efficient Medical Sterilizer (PREEMS). Sterilization of medical and surgical instruments is a critical step in minimizing the risk of infection to combat casualties during far-forward medical interventions. Current field sterilizers are large, power-intensive systems that require large amounts of water to operate. “We are excited to leverage our experience and success with our P2131 sterilizer to innovate a small, lightweight, highly-reliable autoclave capable of sterilizing small surgical instruments in a far-forward tactical environment”, says FDI’s President & CEO Chris Yerger. The Phase III end goal is to produce an FDA 510(k)-approved medical sterilizer that can be used in austere environments for both commercial and military applications. Potential private sector use includes remote area medical clinics, paramedics/EMTs, search and rescue teams, and disaster relief organizations.
Fort Defiance Industries (FDI) has been awarded a $4M contract to provide potable and wastewater systems for the U.S. Army’s newly configured Field Hospitals. These water systems are critical infrastructure to the safe and effective operation of the Field Hospital, formerly called a Combat Support Hospital. “We’ve been supporting the U.S. Army for over 12 years with many components for the Water Sets and it’s a real blessing and wonderful opportunity to be both a custom fabricator and also a system integrator for the entire set. In addition, we are proud to partner with Atlantic Diving Supply (ADS) on this important project for the Army”, says FDI’s President & CEO Chris Yerger. FDI’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Loudon, TN with its adjoining 60,000 square feet of warehouse capacity make it an ideal location for both the fabrication and assembly of components and the staging and kitting of the Water Systems.
Fort Defiance Industries continues its worldwide expansion with the signing of a distributor agreement with South Korean FINE CNS. The exclusive agreement covers the distribution of our Automated Field Steam Sterilizers and accessory products throughout South Korea and aims to provide U.S. Allies in the region with the latest medical technology for the field.
FINE CNS is a company that makes a cleaner and safer tomorrow through infection control and hygiene management in hospitals, pharmaceuticals, food and public places through the importation of world class sterilization and decontamination equipment. “This is the perfect partner for us in Korea,” said Sebastian Ward, vice president of sales and marketing at Fort Defiance Industries. “They have the experience, knowledge and the existing industry contacts to allow us to be professionally represented. We are very excited to enter the South Korean market with them.” Through the agreement, FDI’s products will be available to end-users in the military, as well as to aid organizations providing humanitarian medical aid to war and poverty stricken international regions and provides patients with hospital level sterilization in austere environments. “We are really excited to be a partner of FDI and promote their state-of-the-art Automated Field Steam Sterilizer. We are sure the system will benefit the South Korean Armed Forces and we are glad that it will complement our existing products to grow the business together as a partner.” said Joseph So, Managing Director of FINE CNS.
Soldiers at Fort Carson, Colorado, made history this month by becoming the first active duty unit to set up and test the field hospital — Army Medicine’s modernized, modular update to the well-known Combat Support Hospital.
The group was assigned to the previously known 10th CSH, which became the Army’s first unit to convert to the field hospital design in June 2017. In a move to make battlefield care more expeditionary, the conversion reconfigured the 248-bed 10th CSH into a smaller, more modular 32-bed field hospital with the capability of three additional augmentation detachments including a 24-bed surgical detachment, a 32-bed medical detachment, and a 60-bed Intermediate Care Ward detachment.
The newly established 10th FH and the augmentation detachments now operate under the authority of the 627th Hospital Center. Together, they set up and tested the new field hospital design, gathering valuable lessons learned for the rest of the force.
“Readiness and modernization are two of the Army Chief of Staff’s top priorities, and our unit has the privilege of directly contributing to both,” said 627th Hospital Center Commander Col. Mark Stevens. “What we are doing here at Fort Carson will not only prepare our team for upcoming deployments but will also set the conditions for success across the Army by providing a tested and validated Role III capability for deployment anywhere in the world for the full spectrum of unified land operations.”
At Role III, the patient is treated in a medical treatment facility staffed and equipped to provide care to all categories of patients, including resuscitation, initial wound surgery, damage control surgery and postoperative treatment. Stevens said the exercise has provided the teams with the opportunity to assess individual Soldier readiness and resiliency, as well as medical maintenance readiness. The team executed multi-echelon training, explained Stevens, which means not only did the field hospital team get individual and collective training but also they used the event to concurrently train the new hospital center mission command staff on essential systems, processes and procedures.
“This is not your typical field training exercise,” said 10th Field Hospital Commander Lt. Col. Sabrina Thweatt. “During the first week, it took us longer than we anticipated to set up everything. When I circulated through, checking on Soldiers, I asked everyone how it was going and the answer I got was ‘slow.’ So I reminded the Soldiers that this is the first time we or anyone else has set up the field hospital, and that we were testing the design not only for our own unit but also for the entire Army. We must be deliberate and take our time to document deficiencies, lessons learned and best practices.”
During the field hospital exercise, members from U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency and the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity, both subordinate organizations of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, worked with unit Soldiers and leaders to answer questions and mitigate challenges.
“We want units to know that we are here to support them and make sure they are confident with the medical materiel USAMMA fields to them,” said Rufus Pruitt, USAMMA’s Western/Pacific Regional manager of the Force Sustainment Directorate.
Pruitt has become a familiar face to the 627th Hospital Center and field hospital teams, as he and USAMMA regional Medical Liaison Officer Mike Mc Hale took part in the unit conversion in June.
“Our goal with taking part in this first field hospital exercise was to see any issues first hand. On paper, the concept looks one way. But when you actually set up equipment, situations can occur that create challenges,” explained USAMMDA Product Manager Jaime Lee. “By seeing them in person, we can determine how to mitigate any challenges and improve the training plan or adjust the fielding plan.”
Additionally, Lee explained some immediate lessons learned with the newly fielded TEMPER Air Supported shelters. The shelters are expected to make the deployment of the new field hospital easier since they are 50 percent lighter and go up 50 percent faster than the older tents. However, Lee said Soldiers have noted that during the cleaning process, the bottoms of the shelter floors get scuffed and scratched when they are placed on a hard surface.
“It quickly became apparent that providing low-cost tarps to place beneath the tent floors would preserve the life of the TEMPER Air Supported shelters,” Lee said.
Lee also said the reconfiguration of water/waste water systems and power distribution has been challenging.
“We needed a tension knot for the thermal liners in order to hold power cables off the floor,” said Lee. “We trained the 10th FH Soldiers on this procedure and took some pictures for a ‘how to’ for other units.”
The field hospital exercise also highlighted new capabilities offered by the field hospital design, such as the option of microbiology on the battlefield — an important medical capability to diagnose potentially dangerous infectious diseases.
“If a patient has an infection in a field hospital, we need to make sure we can identify it,” explained Spc. Christopher Landers. “If we can diagnose the patient here before they get evacuated to a higher level of care, it will give the providers a better idea of what to expect and, ultimately, a better road to recovering for the patient.”
Over the next five years, the Army plans to convert the rest of the active duty CSHs, as well as Army Reserve hospitals that are part of the Medical Materiel Readiness Program and Army Prepositioned Stocks. Thweatt’s advice to other units as they go through the conversion from a CSH to a field hospital is to remain flexible and patient.
“Remember, a field hospital is not a CSH,” said Thweatt. “You have to get creative in making adjustments–but not at the expense of the design concept. As long as future units stay focused on improving the design in ways that benefit the Warfighter, rather than trying to make it ‘perfect’ or comparing it to the legacy CSH, all will be well. The preparation process is long and some days were frustrating. But now that we’re in the field and actually seeing all the plans come to fruition — watching the Soldiers take ownership with sweat dripping and still motivated — makes it all worth it.”
“This is the Army. This is what we do. To be a part of this is exciting,” added Thweatt. “My boots are dusty, and they haven’t been dusty in a while.”
By Ellen Crown, U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency Public Affairs
Article courtesy of U.S. Army
It was cause for celebration at FDI on May 23, 2018. The date marks the occasion of FDI shipping its 200th P2131 Automated Field Steam Sterilizer to the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Since shipping its first system in 2015, FDI has worked hand-in-hand with the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force to deliver advanced steam sterilization technology to our fighting men and women in the field. “Not only does this system help our front line service member in the event of a causality, but it also supports worldwide aid and disaster relief operations in which the military finds itself”, says FDI’s President and CEO, Chris Yerger. In the coming years, FDI will continue its efforts to replace the entire inventory of M-138 “Big Bertha” autoclaves in the U.S. DoD inventory while also embarking on a campaign to introduce the system to foreign militaries around the world.
SOFEX presented FDI with a considerable opportunity to introduce the Middle Eastern markets to the P2131 Automated Field Steam Sterilizer. Official delegations and potential local partners alike enthusiastically embraced the P2131’s concept, one of offering hospital quality sterilization in the field environment and were impressed with both the flexibility of the system and its potential applications. Founded in 1996 by His Majesty King Abdullah II, The Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference continues to grow with each edition and is acquiring paramount ranking amongst specialized global defense exhibitions. SOFEX provides an ideal platform to present new and innovative equipment in order to deliver swift, decisive and effective solutions, that will help decision makers maintain the security and safety in their countries, regions and around the world. “Large multi-national corporations and small start ups a like were offered equal opportunity to demonstrate and present their products to an international audience of potential clients” said Sebastian Ward, FDI’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “It was great to see such an internationally diverse community of nations come together and exchange ideas regarding global security and defense, as well as foreign aid and relief”
For information on SOFEX’s sister show, IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi , please visit https://idexuae.ae/