News: Afghan Border policemen practice CPR at JSAS
Story by Cpl. Brian Gabriel Jr.
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Afghan Border Patrol officers added a new tool to their repertoire of life-saving skills with the help of Navy corpsmen.
A class of ABP officers practiced the fundamentals of cardiopulmonary resuscitation during a medical training course at the Joint Security Academy Southwest at Camp Leatherneck, Oct. 5. Their hospital corpsmen instructors, all hailing from various units within Regional Command Southwest, are imparting as much of their own medical expertise to the ABP officers as the intense, three-week course will allow.
The students spent the first portion of the training in classes learning the purpose of using CPR. Learning the process was made easier using a life-sized mannequin, complete with an artificial pulse and breathing, to visually demonstrate signs and symptoms of potential breathing problems.
Although many of the students were familiar with CPR through previous training, the corpsmen made sure to teach the class the latest, most effective methods.
“We taught the new methods certified by the American Heart Association and reinforced the new procedures so that way they can save someone if need be,” said Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Marvin Floer, a hospital corpsman with 1st Marine Division’s Headquarters Battalion.
After classroom instruction on the steps to resuscitate an injured person, the Afghan Border Police moved on to hands-on training. The students were paired up and required to work as a team to restore breathing to the training mannequins.
“During practical application, they were awesome—they were amazing,” Floer said. “They’re very hands on. There are times where they’re learning something they’ve already been taught through their basic training. They still open up to our new lesson plan. They’re still open to new information which is especially important with medical knowledge, like CPR.”
Floer was especially impressed with one of his students, Mohmadallah, who had previously trained in a similar medical course in Kandahar.
“He was one of the first students I was impressed with,” Floer said. “He’s wearing a crescent moon and a red cross, symbolizing the universal medical symbols. Right away when I saw him wearing that, I made sure to watch him. He’s one of the best students in the class. He shows exceptional knowledge and skills.”
Mohmadallah, an ABP medic working in Kabul, volunteered for the medical training course at JSAS in order to improve his combat life-saving abilities. He walked away from the day’s training with a sense of pride for his class’ performance.
“We did very well today in training,” Mohmadallah said. “The training will help us save our colleagues lives in combat situations. After I graduate, I want to go back to my unit to help my friends, and use my first aid skills to save lives.”
Floer is thankful that students like Mohmadallah are taking the course so seriously, considering the critical nature of the work they’ll be practicing in the field.
“It’s important to teach them so they can respond in a way that corpsmen respond to Marines,” Floer said. “They’re going to be working just like a corpsman. They will be able to respond to any combat injuries that you may see out in the field in Afghanistan.”