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‘Log Dogs’ keep doctors supplied

  • Published
  • By Airman Shen-Chia Chu
  • 436th AW Public Affairs
The word 'basement' sparks the first thought of a dusty, dark and shabby room with no windows, no light and never ending piles of unwanted junk stacked on top of one another.

But imagine a well-lit basement, filled with all sorts of supplies organized on automatic moving shelves. Pens used by doctors for signatures on a medical record, bandages and gauze pads ready to be shipped for servicemembers overseas and million-dollar CAT scans that provide medical diagnosis imagery.

All of these items and more are housed here in a sub-terranean warehouse in the base medical clinic and provide medical materials to Dover Air Force Base specialists.

"Though the career field is small, our counterparts are stationed all over the globe who call themselves the 'Log Dogs,'" said Master Sgt. Kloh-Ann Derosin, 436th Medical Support Squadron medical logistics flight NCO-in-charge. "We take pride in our mottos,
'Not Without Us' and 'Whatever It Takes.'

From the smallest bandage to the most complicated piece of medical equipment, our job is to ensure the medical staff are equipped to administer world class healthcare, said Sergeant Derosin.

"We provide everything the hospital needs to treat patients without ever being seen," Airman 1st Class Timothy Barnhart, 436th MDSS medical logistics materiel journeyman.

Pharmeceuticals are delivered to the back dock of the clinic in totes and boxes, said Airman Barnhart. Flight personnel receive and process receipts worth $100,000 or more every single day and personally deliver them throughout the clinic.

"We purchase, receive, issue and maintain approximately $13 million in medical supplies and equipment on a yearly basis," said Airman Barnhart. "From syringes and needles to printer paper and toner cartridges, light bulbs to hydrogen peroxide, and even blood."

Many people confuse our job with base supply, but we're two different career fields, said Sergeant Derosin. We only deal with medical supplies for the hospital.

Much like the hidden nuts and bolts inside of a watch, medical logistic technicians provide the balance of supply and demand, interacting with the hospital staff and different squadrons around base on a daily basis.

"Sometimes it's hard for younger Airmen to feel appreciated here because it's a small clinic as opposed to larger medical facilities," said the sergeant who has had 17 years of experience in the career field. "You really develop a sense of pride and realize how important you are when you deploy because your job could mean the difference between life and death."

The sergeant describes her first deployment as scary because she said she didn't know what to expect.

"I worked with aeromedical evacuations - making sure doctors, nurses and technicians were equipped with medical supplies and equipment when they went out on missions to retrieve patients," Sergeant Derosin explained. "Sometimes I would help with patients or reconfigure a plane for patient transport, but it wasn't as dangerous as it is today. I can't imagine the intensity experienced by crews today."

That's why the sergeant said she always tells people they need to take their jobs seriously and to never be afraid to ask for help because a lack of response to whatever the need may be could delay health care or contribute to a patient's death.

"You realize everybody's job is important because you have to work together to stay alive and get the mission done," she said. "If I don't do my job, the doctors and nurses can't do theirs."

Airmen can't be deployed without the first aid kits, she said.

"Medical support comes through us as we provide Team Dover with the medical necessities to get the job done," said Airman Barnhart.

The sergeant believes teamwork is the foundation for success in each squadron and the base as a whole.

"I need Airmen coming in everyday ready to roll," said Sergeant Derosin. "And by having an open mind, staying positive, applying yourself efficiently in training and listening to your supervisor - you will be able to complete the mission."