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    First aid emphasized during Iraqi army basic training

    First Aid Emphasized During Iraqi Army Basic Training

    Photo By Michael Molinaro | An Iraqi army basic training soldier talks through the steps of evaluating a casualty...... read more read more

    KIRKUK, IRAQ

    03.12.2007

    Courtesy Story

    5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   

    By Sgt. Michael Tuttle
    5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    KIRKUK, Iraq - More than 500 Iraqi army soldiers are gathered in several formations on the cement of an old airstrip at the Regional Training Center, a basic training site outside Kirkuk. They are eager for hands-on first aid training after spending several hours packed into a warm classroom for the initial instruction.

    Two Iraqi army soldiers, hold an instructional chart up against the wind with the step-by-step directions for evaluating a casualty and performing CPR. Without hesitation, hands spring up from the formation as soldiers volunteer to demonstrate the tasks in front of their peers. One after another, they seamlessly proceed through the steps of evaluating a casualty and gaining their instructor's approval without even glancing at the directions on the chart.

    In the old Iraqi army, under Saddam Hussein's regime, only a few soldiers would be selected for medical training once their basic training was complete, according to Iraqi army Sgt. Mohammed Abbas, class instructor. Now, every new soldier is trained in first aid during their eight-week basic training as part of an emphasis on medical training throughout the Iraqi army.

    Every new soldier will spend four days on first aid training before having to pass a test on each task. Their first day is spent on evaluating a casualty and rescue breathing techniques. The next three days will include how to treat abdominal and chest injuries, fractures, shock, how to control bleeding and evacuating casualties.

    "First aid training is very important for the soldiers to carry out their missions," Abbas said. "They need to be able to take care of each other."

    The medical training has been added to a curriculum that is being standardized throughout Iraqi army basic training with the help of the Coalition Military Assistance Transition Team. The CMATT is a four-Soldier U.S. military transition team that works with the Regional Training Center as advisors and mentors.

    Staff Sgt. Shawn Scaffold is a medic with the CMATT and has helped oversee the implementation of the first aid training. Scaffold is in his eighth month of working with the RTC and said he has taken a step back from the hands-on approach he used when he first arrived.

    "The NCOs (noncommissioned officers) are able to run the course themselves," Scaffold said. "We're available to advise them but it's their show."

    Scaffold, a native of Memphis, Tenn., also helped design the combat life saver course and a five-week combat medic class that are both taught at the RTC. While he led most of the instruction when those classes started, Scaffold said that the Iraqi army cadre now runs all the training for those courses as well.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.12.2007
    Date Posted: 03.12.2007 15:11
    Story ID: 9396
    Location: KIRKUK, IQ 

    Web Views: 182
    Downloads: 166

    PUBLIC DOMAIN