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HONOR FLIGHT BLUEGRASS CHAPTER GUARDIAN TRAINING
Guardian Training What this training is NOT about! What this training is all about! • Shared lessons learned • Recommendations • Suggestions – In response to common issues and encounters within Honor Flight. • Guidelines • • Directives Policies Procedures Mandated Actions
On-Line Guardian Training Program • Objective: Provide a training module that will ensure an Honor Flight Guardian understands the duties and responsibilities of their role and is able to perform those functions.
EARL MORSE – HONOR FLIGHT FOUNDER
• The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and Retired Air Force Captain. Earl wanted to honor the Veterans he had taken care of for the past 27 years. • After retiring from the Air Force in 1998, Earl was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio. In May of 2004, the World War II Memorial was finally completed and dedicated in Washington, D. C. and quickly became the topic of discussion among his World War II Veteran patients
Earl could tell that the majority of the Veterans had given up all hope of ever visiting the memorial that was specifically created to honor their services as well as the services of their fellow comrades who had paid the ultimate sacrifice. That's when Earl decided that there had to be a way to get these heroes to D. C. to see their memorial. In addition to being a physician assistant, Earl was also a private pilot and a member of one of our nation’s largest and best aero clubs located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. And things started coming together.
Earl addressed about 150 members of the aero club during a safety meeting, outlining a volunteer program to fly Veterans to their memorial. After Earl spoke, eleven pilots who had never met his patients stepped up to volunteer. And Honor Flight was born.
AGENDA • • GUARDIAN TRAINING TYPICAL ITINERARY GROUND OPS/AIRPORT OPS MEDICAL - SAFETY WHEELCHAIR 101 ADMINISTRATIVE WELCOME HOME CLOSING REMARKS
According to National Statistics and Averages, the youngest WWII Veteran should have died about 10 years ago! Average male life expectancy in America, regardless of race is 74. 4 years old. Youngest WWII Veteran is now over 90 years old.
GUARDIAN TRAINING SAFETY and SECURITY is the most single overriding factor and the primary responsibility of the Guardian “Gravity” is the “Enemy” of the Veteran
Mission Guardian Duties & Responsibilities • You are to care for the Honored Veteran as if they were a member of your family. You are not a tourist! • AS A GUARDIAN “WE ASK YOU TO DO WHAT WE WANT YOU TO DO NOT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO”.
GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITIES • You are now their loved one!! • Know who is on your team and know which Veteran is hard of hearing or legally blind , diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer's disease or has any other physical impediment that bears special consideration and observation.
Guardian Responsibilities (Cont. ) • Be their eyes and ears (you may have to repeat announcements for Veterans with hearing problems) • Help blind Veterans feel the bas-relief Sculpture panels • Be their hands also (this may include helping them carry drinks or opening water bottle caps) • Seniors are prone to dehydration
GUARDIAN RESPONSIBILITY Cont. ) Notify Medical and Mission Director for any of the following: • • Excessive Fatigue Chest Pain Shortness of Breath Dizziness Nausea Numbness/Tingling in Body, Arm or Leg Suddenly Acts Confused Anything Out of the Ordinary
You Are Not A Tourist • Enjoy your day, but always remain vigilant and that your number one priority must remain the safety of our Honored Veterans • You will come home a changed person, with a greater understanding and respect for these humble and stoic heroes of yesteryear. As they bid you a final farewell at the end of the trip – go ahead and shed a tear, you earned it!
Guardian Traps • Think it’s their trip to DC (Tour Director) • Traveling with family member- think their Veteran is the only Veteran that matters • Older family members as Guardians go from asset to liability • Guardian needs wheel-chair • Attention fades as the day progresses
Safety • There is nothing more important !! – It is the responsibility of the Mission Director, Bus Captains and each Guardian to insure that each Honor Flight participant is protected to the best of their ability. – If a Veteran falls and breaks a bone while in DC, in addition to the pain and danger. It can lead to complications – including death! – The Veteran will not be making the return flight.
Safety (cont. ) • Forget being shy with our Honored Veterans – they will react better, and a stronger bond is naturally formed if you engage them in conversation. • Your experience as a Mission Guardian will be enriched further by learning about our Honored Veteran/s. • This can be a very emotional time for the Honored Veteran/s (and Mission Guardian), if you notice a quivering lip or tear, be ready with a tissue and an open ear. • You may also want to afford the Honored Veteran a private moment to recompose.
Safety (cont. ) • If you see a Honored Veteran who seems to be having a problem walking, immediately notify your Mission Director or a member of the Honor Flight staff. • Staff will secure a wheelchair for the Honored Veteran. • We must remain especially vigilant towards the end of our day, as our Honored Veterans will start showing signs of fatigue.
Safety (cont. ) Our safety record is 100%. It is our duty and responsibility to maintain that record Accept this as part of your personal responsibility as a Guardian
Notify !! If you think there is any chance a Veteran needs help, notify medical personnel. If you don’t see Medical personnel, notify your Bus Captain and the Mission Director. If an Honor Flight participant is in distress notify 911 immediately. It is easier to stop treatment than to wish you had started.
In An Emergency • • Contact Mission Director Determine if medical help is required Notify Medical Team If necessary call 911
In Case of a Fall • Err on the side of caution • Have Veteran checked by Medical Team (EMT, Paramedic, Doctor, Nurse) • If Veteran refuses medical treatment – call 911 • Must insure there are no serious injuries.
Serious Injury • Mission Director will make available to 911 responders and Hospital Emergency officials all of Veteran’s medical information that the Veteran has provided to Honor Flight Bluegrass • Mission will continue on scheduled itinerary. • If hospitalization is required a Volunteer Guardian shall accompany Veteran to hospital and stay until relieved by Mission Director or family members
Serious Injury (cont. ) • Mission Director may appoint a temporary Mission Director selected from among Bus Captains or other experienced Guardians if he decides to stay behind with Veteran. • Mission Director and Chapter officials will make and coordinate all meals, accommodations, and transportation required by Volunteer until the Volunteer is officially relieved by family or legal guardian. • Volunteer shall be reimbursed for all expenses
Typical Mission Itinerary • • • 0600 Check-in Louisville (SDF) passengers 0645 TSA briefing for Louisville (SDF) passengers 0700 Board Louisville (SDF) passengers on flight 0730 Depart Louisville (SDF) for DC area airport (DCA, BWI, IAD) ~0930 Arrive DC area airport 1015 Board bus for Washington DC-WW II Memorial (lunch on bus) 1030 In route WWII Memorial 1130 Arrive WW ll Memorial 1230 Board bus 1245 Depart WW ll Memorial 1300 Arrive Korean War Memorial 1330 Board bus
Typical Mission Itinerary (cont. ) • • • 1345 Depart Korea War Memorial 1400 Arrive Iwo Jima Memorial 1430 Group photo at Iwo Jima Memorial 1445 Board bus for Baltimore (BWI) Airport 1615 Arrive Baltimore (BWI) Airport 1645 Proceed through TSA 1700 -1800 Dinner 1830 Board DC area plane for Louisville (SDF) 1900 Depart for SDF 2100 Arrive Louisville (SDF)
Airport Procedures • • Check-in TSA briefing and security processing Personal wheelchairs Airplane seating
Airport Check In • Immediately ask Veteran if they have their medications and their photo ID • Ask them if they have a pocket knife or sharp object. • Collect prohibited items and give to one of the stay behind staff.
Veterans Package • Their Veteran Tee shirt • A color coded lanyard with their name for identification (Note, the lanyard color determines which bus you will be on. ) • A boarding pass (unless charter flight) • A camera • Sunscreen • Hand Sanitizer • Lip balm
Guardian Package • Guardian Tee shirt • Color coded lanyard with name badge and information cards (for public contact) • Note, the lanyard color determines which bus you will be on. • Boarding pass (unless charter)
Veterans and Guardians Packages • Please insure that both the Veteran and the Guardians are wearing the shirts. This helps maintain visual control of both Veterans and Guardians. • Veterans in uniform are exempt from the above • We will not be the only Honor Flight at the memorials
Check In • Check in at the Louisville airport is at the far right (adjacent to United Airlines) of the ticketing area. • There may be media and politicians present for the send off.
TSA Briefing • TSA will give the Honor Flight a private security briefing. • Check again for ID and prohibited items. Give prohibited items to stay behind staff. • Honor Flight will move as a unit through expedited security using the EXIT gate for ease of movement. IDs will be checked against list.
Wheelchairs • Honor Flight provides wheelchairs available at check in for those that require them. • Many Veterans are hesitant to ask for a wheelchair. • Many will refuse wheelchairs. • We encourage Veterans with even a hint of mobility issues to take advantage of wheelchairs.
Wheelchairs • Veterans may bring their own wheelchairs, but they need to understand that they may not always end up in their wheelchair. • As we unload busses, Veterans get the next wheelchair up. We will make sure that they go home with their wheelchair. • Upon arrival home, we will transition them all to airport wheelchairs (or their own) so that we can round up those belonging to Honor Flight.
Personal Wheelchairs • If your Veteran has a personal wheelchair, please insure that it is well marked with his/her name and address. • Also insure that it has a baggage tag attached. • Wheelchairs must be pre-tagged by airport personnel.
Wheelchair Handling • All wheelchairs will be taken to aircraft door where they will be loaded by airport personnel. • On arrival, all non wheelchair Veterans and Guardians will unload first allowing time for wheelchairs to be brought to aircraft door. • Do not wait for personal wheelchairs. Take first available and move out. • Wheelchairs will be reunited at the bus.
Aircraft Seating • Wheelchair bound Veterans will board first. • Please leave one complete row at front for staff. • Upon arrival, wheel chair bound Veterans will unload last to allow time for wheelchairs to be brought to aircraft door. • If not a charter flight ( Southwest), please move towards the back of the plane and fill up center seats so other passengers may be seated.
Wheelchairs We encourage Veterans that: • Use a walker • Use a cane • Walk with a limp • Are unsteady on their feet or prone to falling • That tire easily Use a wheelchair
Gravity is Not Our Friend The most likely time for gravity to rear its ugly head is during times of transition. – Terminal to aircraft – Aircraft to bus – Off/On bus – Bus to terminal – Terminal to aircraft – Deplane in Louisville
Entering And Exiting the Aircraft Do not be shy about maintaining positive control of the veteran during periods of transition • Assist in rising from the wheelchair • Assist into the aircraft and to the seat • Assist off the aircraft
Assistance in the Aircraft • Assess how much help your Veteran will require. • We encourage Veterans to wear belted pants if at all possible. (we carry a utility belt if required). The belt provides great leverage point. • Use arms and belt for stability. • Guardian fore and aft if required for support.
Entering and Exiting The Bus • One Guardian at top of steps • Two Guardians at bottom of steps • One Guardian to position wheelchair • Use of hands/arms for assistance • Use of belt for stabilization and support • Even if your Veteran does not require assistance be prepared to help others.
Entering and Exiting The Bus No Veteran gets on or off the bus without one Guardian at the top of stairs and two Guardians at the bottom of stairs.
Entering and Exiting The Bus • This is a critical point. There a number of steps on and off the bus. • Bus Captains will assign Guardians to these duties. • Remember – you are here to help – all Veterans. • Do not be shy. Be on the lookout for where help is needed. • Maintain positive control at all times.
Wheelchair Accessing • Insure the wheelchair is locked in position. • Approach wheelchair from the front. • Grasp Veteran under the arms and lift to standing position – get help if needed. • Turn Veteran to face front • Grab Veteran by the belt • Assist as needed to walk • Have a Guardian fore and aft of the Veteran for stability if needed.
Medical Safety • Each Honor Flight has trained medical personnel aboard. • While the Mission Director will have detailed medical information, each Guardian should find out to the extent you feel comfortable, the medical issues of your assigned Veteran. • Oxygen bottles are not allowed on aircraft. Oxygen generators must be used onboard aircraft. We will have full oxygen bottles available on arrival.
Medical Safety Each flight will have appropriate medical equipment aboard: • FIRST RESPONDERS MEDICAL KIT • COMFORT BAG • AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATOR (AED)
Medical Kits • The First Responders kit is designed for cuts, bruises, and other first aid items. • The Comfort Kit contains Depends, sunscreen, sweat pants (to replace soiled clothing) • The Automated External Defibrillator is of course for medical emergencies.
Flying Affects Medical Conditions • Motion sickness: Can ask for Dramamine, Antivert, Scopolamine, etc. • Seizure disorders – How are they controlled? – Prone to episodes with a lot of noise, vibration, fatigue.
Flying Affects Medical Conditions (cont. ) Barometric pressure changes affect: • Colostomy / Urostomy bags • Chronic ear/Sinus problems • Open head injury – problem Decreased partial pressure of oxygen. If they have problems on the ground, they can get into trouble in the air because of cabin pressure
On the Ground Medical Conditions • Falls – most likely in common areas, loading and unloading aircraft and busses. • At the memorials around ramps and steps. • Be ever vigilant for signs of fatigue or confusion.
Medical Emergencies • • • Sudden confusion Chest pain Weakness on one side of body Unconsciousness Shortness of breath or breathing problems • Anything out of the ordinary Follow emergency steps from previous slides
Bus Assignments Know your bus # • Lanyard color indicates bus assignment. • Make sure you and your Veteran have the same color lanyard. • Bus assignments are made for logistical reasons – number of wheelchairs etc. • Please do not change busses. • There will be other flights, and busses all look similar. Know your bus number!! • You may leave personal items on the bus at stops.
Head Counts We really do not want to lose anyone, so we will be having aggressive head counts frequently: • Prior to boarding and after departing aircraft • Before bus leaves airport • Memorials • Restaurant • Rest Rooms Have Veterans sit in the same seat on the bus all day.
Talk to the Veteran • Ask questions • Find out about their service • Many of these Veterans have never spoken to anyone about their experiences. • This is their chance to discuss in a friendly understanding situation. • Start with easy questions – How was the chow? What branch of the service? Dates of service? • Guardians often return a changed person for this experience.
Listen to the Veterans • This day is about them. Do not do all the talking. • Lend a sympathetic ear. Remember, they may never have told anyone what they are telling you. • Thank them for sharing their story. • Encourage them to share their story with their family.
Photographs Encourage Veterans to take LOTS (bus, plane, airport, memorial, new found friends) Ensure Veteran gets into the picture After the Veterans pass away, these will be some of the most treasured pictures in the world to their families.
News Media • There is often media around. • The media is important to our fundraising efforts. Try and accommodate them. • Try and determine if your Veteran is comfortable talking in front of media. • If not, steer the media to those Veterans who are more comfortable. It becomes apparent quickly who these Veterans are. • If the media asks about you – defer to the Veteran. It is their day.
Hydration and Food Keep our Honored Veterans hydrated! • The Honored Veteran may be reluctant to drink fluids because of control of bladder problems. Our bus will have a bathroom onboard and a restroom stop is always available at the WWII Memorial, airports, and our evening restaurant stop
Hydration and Food • Meal time is a great time to remind Veterans to take medications • Make sure you understand their medication requirements. We ask that the Veterans (and Guardians as well) bring any required medications (plus an extra day’s worth). The Mission Director and the medical team will have a list of who has what prescriptions but know your Veterans requirements.
Veterans Pay for Nothing (Except for personal souvenirs) You buy their food, drink, snack or tip the sky cap. Let the Mission Director know and you shall be reimbursed
Donations During Honor Flights • Never accept donations from Veterans on mission • Do not accept donations from the public. Hand them the information card in your badge holder • Ask them to visit the web site: www. honorflightbluegrass. org to make an on-line donation with a credit card or mail check to P. O. Box 991364, Louisville, KY 40269 -1364
Soak it Up • This may be one of the best days of your life. • Make a friend with a member of the Greatest Generation. • Thank them for their service. • Thank them for sharing their stories. • Encourage them to share their stories with their families.
No Alcohol • Under no circumstances shall a Mission Guardian partake of any alcohol or drug nor be under the influence of either while representing The Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter. We are a drug and alcohol free organization. • Immediate dismissal from the organization will occur if Guardian is found to be under the influence.
• We have contacted several alumni Honored Veterans of Honor Flight and asked them what was the most memorable part of their trip? The answer remains constant. They speak about the appreciation, admiration, respect and gratitude shown to them by everyone who they came in contact with…especially the Mission Guardian TEAM. • This memory will remain with them for the rest of their remaining days – make it very positive!
Guardian Donation “ I agree to a donation that is determined by the Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter’s Board of Directors to offset my costs ( airfare, meals, charter bus, police escort, liability insurance, t-shirt, neck lanyard with ID pouch, lapel pin) involved with my participation in an Honor Flight mission conducted by the Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter in accordance with their Mission Statement. I fully understand that as the Honor Flight Bluegrass Chapter is an IRS recognized 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization my donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law since I received no goods or services. ”
We cannot all be heroes; some of us get to stand on the curb and clap as they go by. ” Will Rogers “