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Members of the FIU-FAST Team Deploy to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala as Part of U.S. Southern Command's Continuing Promise 18

Eight members of the FIU-FAST traveled to Guatemala as part U.S. Southern Command's Continuing Promise 2018, a civilian-military humanitarian mission providing medical, surgical, optometry, dental, woman’s health services, nutrition education and veterinary support to a small rural coastal city. The FIU-FAST contingent, consisting of Dr. Robert Levine-Emergency Medicine, Dr. Freddy Alvarez- Pediatric Medicine, Dr. Leo Diaz-Emergency Medicine, Dr. Mary Beth Black-Family Medicine/Women's Health, Dr. Victor Gomez- Emergency Medicine, Bridget Pelaez-Nurse/Paramedic, Ruben Almaguer-Paramedic/Team Lead, and Misty Coello-4th year medical student in Emergency Medicine. The team spent 10-days providing an assortment of medical and preventive care services to over 5,000 people, including children at a local orphanage. This is the second year in a row FIU-FAST has participated in this humanitarian medial mission. This trip would not have be possible without the support of the FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the FIU Kimberly Green Latin America and Caribbean Center. *The following video encapsulates the experience that the FIU-FAST team, Team Rubicon, and the men and woman of the U.S. military had in Puerto Barrios. We thank the people of Guetemala for their warm welcome and hospitality.  See you in 2019!  


After Pedestrian Bridge Collapses FIU-FAST Sets Up Command Post and Comfort Station to Support 1st Responders

Within hours after the collapse of the pedestrian bridge, FIU-FAST set up a command post and comfort station to support over a hundred first responders rendering assistance to save lives and recover victims from this tragic event. 



Miami-Dade County District 11 Commissioer Joe A. Martinez Presents FIU-FAST with a Proclamation Recognizing its Efforts During Hurricane Irma and Continuing Promise 17

Commissioner Joe A. Martinez presented the FIU-FAST team a county resolution recognizing March 14, 2018 as FIU-FAST Team Day.  Commissioner Martinez toured FIU's facilities and personally met and thanked those members of the FIU-FAST team that deployed to West Kendall Baptist Health and Jackson South Medical Center to assist with patient surge issues after Hurricane Irma had passed through Miami.  Commissioner Martinez also participated in the unveiling of the FIU-FAST medical hospital suite by FORTS USA.  


FIU-FAST Conducts Critically Ill Patient Joint Training Disaster Exercise with U.S. Air Force Reserves

When disaster strikes critical care medical teams are needed to coordinate, treat, and evacuate critically ill patients.  The role of the FIU-FAST Team is to assist hospitals with the movement of critical patients in anticipation of a landfall hurricane or mass flooding, or immediately after a disaster strikes.

On February 28, twenty-four members of FIU-FAST team met at FIU’s Emergency Operations Center to receive a briefing on Patriot Sands 2018, an exercise involving the coordination and movement of equipment, supplies, personnel, and critically ill patients on military aircraft.  Following the briefing, FIU-FAST deployed to Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB) and met with members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve Air Lift Control Flight to load FIU-FAST vehicles and equipment trailers onto a C17 military cargo plane.  Once loaded, the entire team and cache flew to MacDill Air Force Base where they met up with elements from U.S. Air Force Reserves 315th Aero-Medical Evacuation Squadron (AES). 

Upon arrival at Macdill AFB, the FIU-FAST Team unloaded their equipment and set up a mobile Intensive Care Unit and Operating Room. The following day, the team used approximately a dozen mannequins to simulate critical care patients. In coordination with members of the 315th AES, FIU-FAST simulated patient movement, including stabilizing patients in the mobile ICU before they were transferred onto the C17 for a return flight to HARB. Patient care scenarios were run during the two-hour flight time from Macdill AFB to HARB.

*FIU-FAST is the only civilian medical response team in the nation to have earned U.S. Air Force – Air Transportability Testing (ATTLA) certification to load equipment and supplies and evacuate critical care patients in military aircraft.


FIU's State Medical Response Team Deploys in the Middle of the Night to Assist West Kendall Baptist Hospital after Hurricane Irma Passes

After the winds finally died down, the Florida Department of Health tapped FIU's State Medical Response Team to deploy to West Kendall Baptist Health to assist with the surge of patients following the impact from Hurricane Irma.  A total of six physicians, six nurses, and one paramedic assembled in the late evening on September 11th at FIU's Modesto Maidique Campus to prepare for their medical mission. From there, they drove in a caravan of vehicles, including FIU's Mobile Health Clinic to West Kendall Baptist Hospital in complete darkness.  The team arrived at 1:00 a.m. and immediately went to work caring for an overwhelming number of patients.  

W Kendall Irma

FIU-FAST Participates in Disaster Field Exercise Hosted by FIU's Academy for International Disaster Preparedness

During the weekend of July 14-16, FIU-FAST participated in a multi-agency disaster field exercise at FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus. Each year, in collaboration with local stakeholders, the Academy for International Disaster Preparedness conducts a 60-hour disaster field exercise for its graduate students in the Masters in Disaster Management. This year participants included the U.S. Coast Guard, Miami Dade Fire and Air Rescue Department, Florida Department of Health, and members of the FIU-FAST Team.

FIU EX Airborne Photo

FIU-FAST Set Up Mobile Field Hospital to Support Miami Beach Air & Sea Show During Memorial Day Weekend

During the Memorial Day weekend, FIU-FAST teamed up with the Miami Beach Fire Rescue Department to support the huge crowd attending the National Salute to America's Heroes Air and Sea Show. Over 200,000 visitors attended festivities throughout the weekend. 

Miami Beach Set Up

FIU-FAST Deploys to Guatemala as part of Continuing Promise 2017 (CP17)

On January 31, 2017, eight members of the FIU-FAST team deployed to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala as part of CP17, a civil-military humanitarian mission to provide health services to communities in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The team deployed for approximately two weeks. 


FIU-FAST Conducts Joint Training Mission with the 934th Aero Evacuation Squadron (Minnesota)

On January 28th, members of the FIU-FAST team and Florida's State Medical Response Team 7 traveled to Naval Air Station Key West to train how to evacuate critically ill patients on military aircraft.  Members of the 934th AES provided an orientation to FIU-FAST and SMRT 7 teams on flight line safety, aircraft configuration and loading and unloading patients in the C130 litter system.  


FIU-FAST Conducts Austere Environment Exercise

On December 10, 2016, the FIU-FAST team deployed to the Dade-Collier Airport in the Everglades National Park to participate in a two-day exercise to train new team members and test its disaster response capabilities.

Everglades Training

FIU-FAST Demonstration at FIU Modesto Maidique Campus

On April 29, 2016, the newly-formed FIU-Florida Advanced Surgical Transport team (FIU-FAST) demonstrated its disaster response capabilities with Miami Dade Fire Rescue Air Operations Division.

FIU-FAST Demonstration at FIU Modesto Maidique Campus

Looking for more photos? Flickr archives of FIU-Florida Advanced Surgical Transport Team can be found here.