When an Amtrak train derailed near Tacoma, Wash. this month, military personnel from nearby Madigan Army Medical Center were the first rescuers on scene. Nineteen injured survivors were taken to Madigan for trauma care. Once at the medical center, they were treated by military health care professionals, many of whom honed their skills in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Madigan’s quick response was possible because it participates in Washington State’s trauma system. In the decades leading up to the derailment, Madigan Army Medical Center staff worked tirelessly to gain and maintain authorization to treat civilian trauma patients at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In preparation for assuming this responsibility, the medical center sought and secured American College of Surgeons accreditation as a level II trauma center.

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