News: 4-25 medics always ready to save lives
Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Winstead
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – During what was supposed to be a heavily scripted and intense training scenario about leadership planning and coordination between military leaders and local Afghan tribal elders at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La., Army Capt. Niki Martin, the medical officer for the 4-25 ABCT, found herself in an actual life-threatening situation when one of the civilian role-players began to choke on some food mid-operation.
Luckily for all parties involved, the medical professionals of 4-25 are trained to always be ready to deal with situations like these at a moment's notice and without hesitation.
On Aug. 19, when a civilian hired by JRTC to play the fictional part of Brig. Gen. Mohammed Nasim Khel Ghilzai, commander of the 4th Brigade-203rd Corps started to choke, Martin knew exactly what to do. She quickly and professionally took control of the situation without hesitation and began to administer abdominal thrusts. Soon after, and with the assistance of the 4th ABCT Executive Officer Maj. Joseph Jasper, the object was quickly dislodged.
Martin is the medical officer for the 4th ABCT. For medical personnel like her, taking action to help others is a part of the job.
Martin’s duties include tracking wounded paratroopers across the brigade, ensuring that those same paratroopers maintain their medical readiness throughout the deployment, and making sure that the medical evacuation of injured paratroopers happens as swiftly and efficiently as possible to prevent the loss of life. As the brigade Medical Officer, Martin ensures that the medics and officers assigned to her section maintain a synchronous relationship with the Brigade Tactical Operations Center.
“We don’t do it on our own,” said Martin.
She maintains regular contact with the several key staff sections across the brigade to ensure the best possible coordination for medical support to the paratroopers on the line. Her perspective is simple.
“It’s all about the guys on the ground.” said Martin.
The brigade medical section also provides training support for line and station medics.
“That’s a major function of the surgeon’s cell,” said Martin.
According to Martin, line medics work at the platoon level and provide medical support to paratroopers fighting at ground level. Medics at the battalion level run role I or role II facilities and train all of their personnel to be Combat Life Savers.
Grateful for her help, both in real life and the training scenario. A dinner invite to Martin was later scripted into the training event to honor her for the life saving assistance she provided.
Situations like the one faced at JRTC are often spur of the moment and quick thinking and reactions are required to save lives. The medical personnel of 4-25 are always ready and trained to deal with these situations whenever and wherever they occur. Saving the life of a key leader, especially one of a host nation like Afghanistan can have long term lasting effects that will in turn save even more U.S. lives in the future.