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    Iraqi First Responder Course

    Iraqi First Responder Course

    Courtesy Photo | An Iraqi soldier drags a casualty to safety during a training exercise. U.S. medics...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    by Spc. Lee Elder
    133d MPAD

    MUQDADIYAH, Iraq (January 28, 2006) " Medics here are gearing up for a second round of training with Iraqi Army medics in First Response procedures.

    Based on the Eagle First Responder Course, taught for years at Fort Campbell, Ky., the five-day course gave Iraqi Army medics updated training in key battlefield medical tasks.

    It's just one of the tasks for U.S. forces who are preparing their Iraqi counterparts to become more self-sufficient in their battle against insurgent forces. It will be the second course taught here.

    "This will result in many saved lives," said Sgt. Thomas Miller, a medic attached to 1-32 Cavalry stationed at Forward Operating Base Normandy. "That is the most satisfying part for us as trainers knowing they will take this training and use it to save lives."

    The last course trained 30 medics. The upcoming course hopes to train between 20-25 medics, Miller said.

    Among the tasks the medics were taught included airway management, controlling bleeding, treating casualties for shock and tactical combat casualty care. The training lasted for four days and on the fifth day the student medics were sent through scenario-based training where they would perform tasks they had been taught in class.

    "We put all these tasks together at the end," Miller said.

    Army medics were assisted by Iraqi doctors, most of whom could speak English. This helped lessen the language gap between instructors and their students.

    "We would work with the Iraqi doctors and that way things wouldn't get lost in translation," Miller said. "When your translator understands what's being taught, it makes teaching much easier."

    Miller said U.S. instructors enjoyed teaching the class and are looking forward to the next one. They found they had many things in common.

    "It's always fun to teach and share techniques," Miller said. "It's always fun to teach students who are enthusiastic and want to learn."

    The Iraqi Army medics" expertise and experience levels varied. It was up to the instructors to keep things interesting for every one.

    "The biggest challenge was trying to get on the same level with the Iraqis," Miller said. "There was quite a bit of distance between their medical technology and ours. We had to find a place in between and discover a happy medium."

    The training and testing was made as realistic as possible. U.S. forces even fired AK-47 rifles during the testing to give Iraqi medics the feeling they were operating under combat conditions.

    "It added to the stress level," said 1st Lt. Chad Gagnon, the medical platoon leader at FOB Normandy. "Plus, it gave our Soldiers training using AK-47s."

    The date for the upcoming course will be based on the local Iraqi Army battalion's training schedule. Because of so many demands on its time, it is difficult to find a time for the training.

    "There is only one Iraqi Army battalion covering this area," Gagnon said. "They are kept pretty busy with what it is going on."

    Miller said Iraqi Army medics were urged to share their training with their fellow Soldiers. It would give them additional medical assets similar to the U.S. Army's combat lifesavers program.

    "By training the medics first, it gives them the wisdom and the knowledge to be better medics," said Miller, who hails from Keizer, Ore., and now lives in Clarksville, Tenn. "They will now be able to take the First Responder training to their own Soldiers."



    Date Taken: 02.02.2006
    Date Posted: 02.02.2006 16:15
    Story ID: 5295
    Location: MUQDADIYA, IQ

    Web Views: 165
    Downloads: 90