News: USD-C Soldiers, Iraqi Federal Police conduct combined CLS training
Story by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson
BAGHDAD—Soldiers and Iraqi Federal Police officers conducted a three-day combined combat lifesaver course, Jan. 18, at Joint Security Station Loyalty, Iraq.
The training, mostly taught by an IFP medic, provided students with instruction on how to apply tourniquets, open blocked airways, control bleeding and treat shock.
“The Federal Police medics in the class have had a lot of training up until this point and they’re doing well,” said 1st Lt. Sam Lueras, a field medical assistant with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center and an Albuquerque, N.M., native. “We want to take what the previous unit—the 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division—did to help get the IFP medics established with systems in place, working as medics and maintain that continuity with the Iraqis.”
Lueras said a combat medic is a force multiplier.
“It feels really good to be working with the Federal Police,” he said. “I got into this business to make the world a better place and to give something back to my country, to make a difference. And if I can leave these guys with a little bit of knowledge and ability so they can continue to build and eventually turn around and teach the regular Federal Police officers skills, I’ve accomplished my mission.”
Lueras said although the Iraqi medics are already trained, the CLS course is a refresher and they can use those techniques to set a strong basis for learning more advanced medical tasks.
“This training is reinforcing those basic medical skills,” he said. “They’re going to complete these skills and make a difference out there on the battlefield.”
1st Sgt. Hitham Udah Ganem, senior medic for 1st Federal Police Division, said currently there is a new aid station in construction and he has goals for the future of the IFP medics. He said any materials he has asked the Americans for, if they have it to give, they do.
“We want to care for ever Soldier in every checkpoint, because of the current situations with explosions and snipers. I want the medics to be able to treat any injury, any wound and any bleeding,” Ganem said. “That’s my plan as the division medic. We are trying to gain 200-300 medics.”
Aside from the classroom learning, the instructors also try to instill a sense of duty in their students.
Ganem worked in civilian hospitals in Iraq before Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said after that, he felt it was his duty to join the IFP as a medic. He said there are more civilian medics than there are military or police medics, and this is his duty.
“They’re making sacrifices; they’re facing danger,” Lueras said about the Iraqi medics. “It’s a good feeling to know we all signed up to do great things for our countries and be a part of the greater good. They’ve stepped up and heard the call of their country in a time of need.”