Bioenvironmental Airmen keep McConnell healthy, on the job

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Trevor Rhynes
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 22nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron bioenvironmental flight keep McConnell Airmen fit to fight by ensuring work centers are clear of hazardous materials.

The flight is made up 11 Airmen responsible for monitoring for hazards in various ways. They are handle occupational health, monitoring environmental factors and maintaining readiness in the event of disaster.

"Our number one priority is occupational health, but we also have environmental and readiness parts of our job," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Goven, 22nd AMDS NCO in charge of occupational health. "The occupational health portion of our job is where we go out to various work centers to verify that it's safe for the Airmen who work around various chemicals.  We do this to try and keep people out of the clinic as one method of practicing preventative health."

One example of how these Airmen keep work centers safe is by conducting surveys, ensuring systems are working properly and keeping exposure to a minimum.

"We do surveys at least every three months, but it also depends on the type of chemicals being used," said Senior Airman Yoonhong Min, 22nd AMDS biomedical technician. "We check areas where more harmful chemicals are being used more often than less harmful chemicals. Our focus here is to ensure that the system is meeting Air Force standards to ensure the people who work there are safe from hazards."

This is one of several tasks Airmen in the bioenvironmental shop carry out. Any given day, the Airmen can find themselves testing water, fitting others for gas masks or participating in training.

"We have a smaller shop, so our Airmen know how to do a little bit of everything," Goven said. "We have a great group of Airmen who work above what they'd normally be expected to do, and they are doing a great job. They're eager to learn and to go out and get the job done."

Getting the job done for these Airmen means ensuring other Airmen are able to complete their jobs. Min said his favorite part of the job is being able to see the things that the Airmen who make up Team McConnell do to support the mission.

"I really enjoy what I do, I like being able to see all the missions and people here, since my job takes me all over base," Min said. "When I first started doing this job I didn't exactly realize the full spectrum of things I'd be doing. I didn't realize how important of a job I was getting myself into but now I'm continuously training and learning different things that may be useful later on."