Combining forces improves medical training

By Sgt. Ann Venturato

LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq — A new phase of medical training began Oct. 4 under a new plan; all medical units on post will assist in conducting training for the combat lifesaver course.

The benefits of the joint training are that all the medical units can share in the training and will be able to provide the necessary instruction to units here more often. Medical units will be able to share in the training load while still accomplishing daily missions.

"We all got together back in April and started talking with the different medical units," said Lt. Col. Robert Cody, 118th Area Support Medical Battalion commander.

Some units had already started to gather for classes but this collaboration will bring all medical units in line teaching Soldiers on LSA Anaconda, Cody said.

"It is an effort to centralize medical training on post," Cody said.

The CLS course is a four-day course to train non-medical Soldiers in basic lifesaving skills.

The key to training combat lifesavers is to teach those who are out on the roads, said Sgt. 1st. Class David Dennis, 82nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance).

The reason the leadership decided to pool their resources was to take advantage of all the units that are here and not put all the instruction on one unit, Cody said. The idea is to spread the training throughout units on camp and have Soldiers come to the education center for tutelage, Cody added.

Another reason for the collaboration was because the 299th Forward Support Battalion, who was doing all the CLS training here needed to change their focus from teaching the CLS course to getting medical personnel certified in their field on 91W transition courses, such as the Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support course and trauma, advanced airway, intravenous therapy, medications and pharmacology and shock management course.

The Trauma-AIMS course is a validated course for combat medical Soldiers who still require the training to transition to the 91W military occupational specialty. PHTLS is a four-day course and Trauma AIMS is a 10-day course, said Capt. Victor Suarez, Company C, 299th FSB.

"The transition started sometime in late July after we got the approval to teach 91W transition courses," Suarez said.

The 299th FSB figured out a timetable for the classes and at what point they would need to shift their focus and pass the torch for CLS training to the rest of the community.

Before the collaboration, units did not schedule training consistently, according to Cody. Now all the instructors for the courses will not all be from one unit, so Soldiers won't be dependent on just one source to get the training they need. Additionally, experienced professionals, such as doctors and nurses will assist with the instruction and perform hands-on training.

The medical memorandum of understanding includes the eventual collaboration to assist in the education of the field sanitation course and the semiannual combat medic skills-validation testing course.

Units involved in the joint operation are the 81st Brigade Combat Team, Task Force 185th Aviation Brigade, 226th Medical Logistics Battalion, 299th FSB, 926th Preventative Medicine Detachment, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and the 118th ASMB.

Editor's Note: Sgt. Venturato is a member of the 13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office at LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq.


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(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - Sgt. Scott Burton, Company C, 299th Forward Support Battalion, demonstrates infant CPR to students during a combat lifesaver course Sept. 27.

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(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - Sgt. Mark Mark, Company C, 299th Forward Support Battalion, demonstrates adult foreign body airway obstruction to students during a combat lifesaver course Sept. 27.