News: MPs train cops to save each other
Story by Sgt. Mike MacLeod
AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq – Ohio-based military police are training Iraqi policemen here how to save the lives of their peers in medical emergencies.
The 585th Military Police Company, deployed here since October 2009, finished its third medical training course for Anbar-area policemen, May 13.
The course covered basic anatomy and medical terms, assessing an emergency situation, breathing, bleeding, shock, fractures, burns, head trauma, evacuation and triage, according to Capt. Matthew Toomey, officer in charge of the course.
While the first two rotations of the course were taught on-site for working policemen, this class was taught and boarded at a facility on Al Asad Air Base.
"This way, we get the same individuals every day, and there is more time on target [for teaching]," said Toomey.
Though many of the Iraqis have had medical training in the past, Sgt. Ronald Bishop, non-commissioned officer in charge of training, estimated that about 90 percent of the material was new to them.
"It's the depth of the subject that's new," said Bishop, a native of Toledo, Ohio. "Everyone knows about fractures, but they may not know to splint them in place. Or they may not know about specialized splints, such as for the femur and pelvis, to lessen the pain until the patient reaches a hospital."
Participants are given a trauma-centric first-aid kit, a curriculum book and all of the course's PowerPoint slides on CD-ROM, he said.
"Everything we learn here we'll pass on to our fellow policemen," said Capt. Sulayman, evidence investigation officer for the Haditha police district, who was promoted to captain after graduating from another course taught by 585th MP Co., advanced investigative techniques.
"Some of this was review from courses we've had in the past, but medical training always requires refreshing," said Sulayman. "With every training, we become more expert at the skills that save lives."
How to lift a patient with a head injury, properly space a tourniquet in relation to the joint, and separate burned fingers before applying dressing were new techniques he learned this time, he said.
Sulayman said that he and his men felt very comfortable at the training event. Each person had his own housing unit, the food was good, and there were no distractions of work.
"It's my honor to get trained by an MP company. They are policemen too, so they know very well what we need to know," he said.
Toomey said the Iraqi policemen were very receptive to the training: "They're sick of seeing their friends die."
The 585th MP Company, based in Maryville, Ohio, will continue teaching the course to area policemen until they redeploy later this summer.