News: First Responder training provides lessons to all
Story by Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay province, Philippines – First responder training courses with members of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and U.S. armed forces were held April 28 – May 8 in Legazpi City, Albay province, Philippines.
Held multiple times, the four-day training course was a part of Exercise Balikatan, an annual bilateral training exercise between the Philippines and U.S. that increases interoperability and strengthens the longstanding partnership of the two allies.
From certified emergency medical technicians to individuals with no previous first-aid training, students who attended the course had various backgrounds and experience levels in with the techniques being taught.
“This is a great opportunity for me to gain more knowledge in this field,” said Charmaine Maravillas, a registered nurse from Albay. “There are a lot of different perspectives here that we can learn from.”
Though it was hosted by medical personnel participating in Balikatan, lessons and instruction were also given by various attendees with the PNP and local medical providers in areas such as treating head injuries, giving chest compressions, and performing proper buddy carries so students would be prepared if required to respond to an event.
“It’s exciting to see everyone train each other in first-aid,” said U.S. Army Maj. Kate Flocke, Joint Civil Military Operations Task Force battalion surgeon with 97th Civil Affairs Battalion. “To me, it’s a good day because it shows that everyone will be able to continue passing on this knowledge.”
Following three days of training, a practical application exam was held which tested the knowledge from the course and required the students to work together to assess, evaluate and act together to ensure the simulated situation was dealt with properly and effectively.
“It was a fun experience working through the course with all the different people,” said Philippine National Police Officer 1st Class Christopher A. Catangay, a course participant. “It’s thanks to those teaching and their backgrounds that we were able to learn so much.”