Cobra medics train basic life-saving skills to new security forces

Multi-National Division Baghdad
Story by 1st Lt. Rendy Yudhistira

Date: 08.17.2008
Posted: 08.17.2008 08:52
News ID: 22582
Cobra medics train basic life-saving skills to new security forces

By 1st Lt. Rendy Yudhistira<br /> 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division <br /> <br /> FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – Medics posses a unique trait to a unit's mission of taking care of Soldiers, but when their knowledge is shared, it increases their capabilities 10 fold. <br /> <br /> Multi-National Division – Baghdad medics of Company C, 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division taught basic life-saving skills to more than 200 new base defense security force personnel, Aug. 8-10, 2008, at Forward Operating Base Falcon, located in southern Baghdad's Rashid District.<br /> <br /> The medic trainers, who also maintain the 24-hour service provided at the Cobra Tactical Medical Center on FOB Falcon, ensured the new guardians of the coalition base were trained and prepared to react quickly to on-scene patient care. <br /> <br /> "We trained on the principles of life-saving," said Sgt. Vicente Ayala, a combat medic assigned to Co. C, 4th Supt. Bn., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B, who hails from San Antonio. "Everything they needed to know about initial patient care, we made sure they understood."<br /> <br /> The security force personnel from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology, Inc., a private security company based out of Tennessee, are contracted by the U.S. Government to guard and secure base towers, entry gates and the dining facility on FOB Falcon. <br /> <br /> A small group of the EODT personnel are trainers and supervisors from the United States, but Ugandan citizens comprise the core group of security personnel. <br /> <br /> EODT security personnel are contracted on FOBs across Iraq. They are known for their tactical proficiency, professionalism, and having the security of Armed Forces service members as their top priority. <br /> <br /> The instructors taught two-hour blocks of instruction with each class broken down to groups of 20. The class consisted of two morning blocks and one afternoon block each day for three days. <br /> <br /> The first phase of the class was a presentation of First Aid basics, such as patient responsiveness, airway, breathing, bleeding, fractures and shock. <br /> <br /> Although the class was made up entirely of the EODT security personnel from Uganda, there were no communication issues between the medics and the class, said Staff Sgt. Joseph Grinder, a health care non-commissioned officer, assigned to Co. C, 4th Supt. Bn.<br /> <br /> "They were all very attentive and spoke excellent English," said Grinder, who hails from Palm Beach, Fla. "They were excited to learn, and their energy definitely rubbed off on us."<br /> <br /> After the initial presentation phase, the class participated in hands-on exercises. During this block of instruction, the health care NCOs tested the security team on how to check for responsiveness, open a patient's airway, apply tourniquets, apply bandages and splints and other tips to stop bleeding and stabilize fractures. <br /> <br /> The most nerve-racking skill of the class was inserting a nasal pharyngeal tube inside a patient's nose in order to secure an airway, said Ayala. <br /> <br /> "Sticking a tube down your nose would make anyone nervous," he explained, "but in order to gain their trust and confidence, we made sure that we demonstrated on each other first." <br /> <br /> It was the expertise and confidence of the medics that had the EODT personnel grateful for the classes, stated one of the EODT personnel attending the class. <br /> <br /> "I enjoyed the first aid class, and it will be very useful for us in the future," he said.<br /> <br /> The medics of "Cobra" Co., 4th Supt. Bn., continue to volunteer themselves to train others on FOB Falcon, stated Sgt. Shateeka Douglas, a health care NCO from Baldwin, La., Co. C, 4th Supt. Bn., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B. <br /> <br /> "It is a chance for them to share our medical knowledge, while building better relations with others," she explained.<br /> <br /> "This was an excellent opportunity to not only train the personnel who we have entrusted to guard and look out for us inside the FOB, but it was also a great opportunity to build new friendships with them," Douglas said.<br />