News: Dragon Brigade medics teach life saving skills to Iraqi Army
Story by Spc. Richard Colletta
TIKRIT, Iraq - Soldiers of Company C, 701st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Support Team, 1st Infantry Division shared lifesaving techniques and procedures with their Iraqi army medic counterparts as they hosted a three-day class for medics and soldiers in the Iraqi army, March 15-17.
The class included instruction on care under fire, stopping and controlling bleeding, applying tourniquets, clearing airways, splinting fractures, patient carries and ambulance loading.
Sgt. 1st Class Chauncey Reid, evacuation platoon sergeant for Company C, said the concept was to teach the Iraqi Army soldiers about treating casualties and how to provide critical-lifesaving care while preparing patients for evacuation.
"It [can] knock out about a 50 percent casualty rate if you just stop the bleeding and get them to a hospital," Reid said.
Spc. Ashley Vines, a combat medic with Company C, said the Iraqis have really gotten into the training and that together they've been learning from each other.
"They've all been involved and very interactive. They've been teaching us Arabic, we've been teaching them English," he said.
Vines said the classes they taught were meant to mirror the training U.S. Soldiers receive themselves.
"It would be pretty much the equivalent to our Combat Lifesaver classes," he said.
Although the classes were taught with the assistance of interpreters, Soldiers were also able to demonstrate medical techniques and have the Iraqi soldiers emulate them. Vines also said he enjoyed working with the Iraqi medics and soldiers.
"It's [been] a lot [more fun] than I thought it would be and they've picked up a lot faster than I thought [they would]," he said.
The Iraqi army soldiers and U.S. Soldiers shared a few laughs while demonstrating patient carries, as some of the Iraqi soldiers struggled with carrying of their larger soldiers. At first they insisted they couldn't do it, but after being shown the carry techniques they were all able to carry each other.
Dr. Salah Hasan, a lieutenant colonel and the division surgeon for the 4th Iraqi Army Division said that the training was vital.
"This is an important issue. It is a matter of life saving [where you have] not more than minutes [to] save a human life," he said.
1st Lt. Heather Holub, evacuation platoon leader for Company C, said the intent for the course was to give a refresher to the Iraqi medics and to train Iraqi soldiers who had no medical experience.
"They're running the country. They're on the roads, they're even assisting and escorting us on convoys so they're doing everything that we used to do and they're putting [themselves] out there so they're at risk," she said.
Holub said training with the Iraqis was a great experience and the Iraqi soldiers showed enthusiasm and dedication.
"It's wonderful to see them out here training and preparing themselves in case there is a situation that should arise where they actually need to use [what they learned]," Holub said.
The training culminated with a review of everything the Iraqi army soldiers had learned over the course of the three days. They received certificates for completing the training during a short ceremony, March 17, and shared their thanks with the U.S. Soldiers for the class.
"I believe now we have good knowledge and good experience. We can depend on [our soldiers] to save their lives and their friend's lives," Hasan said.