KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Afghan National Police officers competed in a first aid competition Dec. 30 at Camp Nathan Smith to test their medical treatment skills against each other and determine which police sub-station was the best of the best.
The competition was comprised of two components; an indoor refresher course and an outdoor simulation course.
“The ANP have conducted ongoing first aid training with the medics at their police sub-stations since our unit arrived in Afghanistan,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Jernegan, executive officer, assigned to 202nd Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, currently attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
“This refresher course is to reinforce what the officers have already learned, so they feel more comfortable and confident in their ability to conduct first aid for their fellow officers,” he added.
The ANP officers gathered at CNS to go over the basics of what they have learned at their respective PSS’s. Sgt. Miranda Kohn was the primary instructor of the first aid refresher course and she gave visual examples of treatment to the ANP officers.
When the refresher course ended, the competition moved outside for the simulated portion of the event. The U.S. MP soldiers gave a dry run of the course to show the officers how the drill would be run.
This competition helped build the partnership between International Security Assistance Forces and the ANP, said Jernegan. Through our mentorship, the ANP can build their own medical corps. This also gives them the confidence to respond to a crisis, which is essential for them to take over security of their country, he said.
Each group went through the course separately and had to complete three obstacles.
During the first obstacle, the officers had to address and treat the wounds of two casualties and carry them to the next obstacle.
The second obstacle required one officer to treat a casualty while the other pulled security. When the casualty’s wounds were treated, the officers worked together to get the casualty to the third obstacle.
Once they reached the third obstacle, the officers applied tourniquets to the wounded, placed him on a litter, and then carried him through the finish line.
After every team went through the course, their scores were tallied based on two factors: the time it took to complete the course and the points earned from identifying and treating the wounds.
After the competition was complete, a ceremony was held during which all of the competitors were awarded certificates as a token of their accomplishments.
This competition helped build the competitive spirit and camaraderie between the ANP officers, said Jernegan. It gave them the opportunity to test their abilities and prove to themselves that they possess the skills necessary to save lives.
“I am very happy to have won this competition and proud to have been a part of it,” said Khan, an ANP officer from the Afghan Provincial Response Company.
“I joined the ANP to help my country and my people,” said Khan. “I felt that it was my duty to join and do my part in improving and maintaining the security of Afghanistan. This competition has brought me one step closer to accomplishing that goal.”