News Icon

News: National Guard combat lifesavers train in South America

Story by 2nd Lt. Chad CarlsonSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

National Guard combat lifesavers train in South America Courtesy Photo

South Dakota Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Justin Schiferl, Medical Command readiness noncommissioned officer, conducts combat medical training with soldiers from Suriname’s armed forces, in Paramaribo, Suriname, Nov. 24, 2012. The National Guard Bureau established South Dakota’s partnership with Suriname in 2006 to develop mutually beneficial partnerships between the two entities.

PARAMARIBO, Suriname - Lt. Col. Larry Debuhr, medical administrative officer with the South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Medical Group and South Dakota Army National Guard’s Sgt. 1st Class Kelley Crane, combat lifesaver and emergency medical technician, and Staff Sgt. Justin Schiferl, Medical Command readiness noncommissioned officer, conducted combat medical training in Paramaribo with Suriname medics and soldiers.

South Dakota’s service members focused their training on advanced life support, which included self-aid and buddy care, wound care, splinting, shock, airway management, IV application and transport.

“It helped raise awareness of what types of medical treatments are available and potentially introduced them to new first aid techniques,” Debuhr said.

Suriname’s medical personnel trained National Guard members on treatment using limited and natural resources, which included ‘bush’ medical training and techniques used in the jungle environments throughout Suriname.

“You have to adapt to your surroundings and make the best of what you have to work with,” Debuhr said. “They do what they can and work with what they have to make things happen.”

“It forced us to step out of our comfort zone and experience different things,” Crane said. “Our procedures are more advanced, only because we have access to more training and equipment. Even though it’s more difficult for Suriname to get the equipment, it seems as though they excel at survival-type training.”

The exchange also emphasized the importance of training on a wide spectrum of topics to include medical maladies that are no longer a concern in the U.S.

“There are many things that are medical concerns in other countries that have been eliminated in the U.S.,” said Schiferl. “These items could easily be overlooked or misdiagnosed if they are not considered. By participating in this mission, I was reminded of the importance of a wide scope of operations.”

Guard members concluded the exchange by traveling four hours west, to Nickerie, Suriname, where they worked with their counterparts providing medical oversight during National Day ceremonies.

“We were very well received and feel that our work was appreciated,” said Debuhr. “We take for granted in this country, to many of the simple amenities. We should be thankful for what we have.”

Connected Media
ImagesNational Guard combat...
Lt. Col. Larry Debuhr, medical administrative officer...
ImagesNational Guard combat...
South Dakota Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Kelley...
ImagesNational Guard combat...
South Dakota Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Justin...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, National Guard combat lifesavers train in South America, by 1LT Chad Carlson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:12.07.2012

Date Posted:12.07.2012 17:52

Location:PARAMARIBO, SRGlobe

More Like This

  • The South Dakota National Guard welcomed leaders of the Suriname military as part of the South Dakota-Suriname State Partnership Program this week. Suriname military leaders from the Army, Navy and Air Force came to observe the Golden Coyote training exercise held in Rapid City and the southern Black Hills.
  • The South Dakota National Guard continues to support National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program by conducting military exchanges with their South American partner nation, Suriname. The most recent exchange sent two South Dakota Army National Guard instructors to Suriname to spend two days discussing training techniques both in and out of the classroom.
  • Twenty-one service members from the South Dakota National Guard’s 155th Engineering Company, of Wagner, S.D., arrived in the South American country of Suriname July 22 as part of New Horizons 2011.
  • The South Dakota National Guard’s Service Member & Family Support program hosted a vision casting meeting in Rapid City at Camp Rapid Wednesday, Nov. 7.


  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr