News: Teaching IA first responders
Story by 2nd Lt. Alun Thomas
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — The two Iraqi soldiers struggle and sweat as they attempt to lift their fallen comrade suffering from an exposed abdominal wound.
Keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings are medics from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, observing to see if they utilize the proper techniques.
Eventually the wounded is bandaged and carried to safety in quick time; successfully completing their first aid training.
This was the scenario for the medics as they taught soldiers from the Iraqi Army's 34th Armored Brigade necessary first aid procedures, here, Oct. 12, to prepare them in the event of real life injuries.
The training helps sustain the brigade's proficiency with first aid basics, said Sgt. 1st Class James Neel from Camp Lejeune, N.C., the medical noncommissioned officer in charge.
"The training has been outstanding. A few of them are having this taught to them the first time out here, but they are catching on quickly," Neel said. "They should be able to use the skills if they ever come across a casualty."
Neel said they taught the Iraqi's the two phases of care the U.S. Army uses, which are care under fire and field care.
"Care under fire is when they're under effective hostile fire and have to utilize certain medical procedures during that time," Neel said. "First and foremost is a tourniquet because massive hemorrhages are the biggest killer on the battlefield."
The Iraqi's then transitioned to tactical field care, which taught them how to dress wounds, make a splint and care for abdominal wounds.
"Very much the basics of first aid," Neel said.
Having U.S. Army assistance makes a difference overall, Neel added.
"If we mentor them, then they learn how to do it right," Neel said. "Hopefully the next time I see them training it will be more hands-on based with lane training, instead of classroom instruction and power point slides."
The guidance from Neel was appreciated by Col. Ali Hussein Sameer, training manager, 34th IA Armor Bde., who said first aid training is always a key to successful soldiering.
"Medical training is important for them because it gives them a guarantee to save their fellow warriors lives," Sameer said. "This will make them successful in war because medical units are so important."
Sameer said many of those training are skilled medics, but not all involved had received extensive first aid courses.
"After this I hope they will all be qualified to do their job as medics," Sameer said.
Having the U.S. Army to assist is a benefit that Sameer said he is pleased to use.
"The U.S. Army has given us a lot of advanced information in addition to the medical expertise we already have," Sameer said. "We have gained a lot from their medics and Soldiers."