PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan –From time to time, everyone likes to have a little help and the flight medics of Task Force Fighting Eagles are getting just that.
Six soldiers from Charlie Company, 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team “Gamblers,” 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, volunteered for training to become back wall medics to assist the flight medics during air medical evacuation missions under TF Fighting Eagles.
For approximately two weeks, Soldiers will train alongside flight medics to prepare them for real world scenarios so they can proficiently perform duties treating our casualties.
Capt. Steve Scuba from Washington, the brigade nurse with Charlie Company, 15th "Gamblers" Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, evaluates a simulated casualty for further injuries during "back wall" medic training in Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, Sept. 14, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Johnathan Hoover, 2nd BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div.)
“Casualties that could be U.S., Coalition Forces and/or Afghan National Army,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class James Crawell, Headquarters Medical Platoon Sergeant, Charlie Company, 2nd General Support Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, TF Fighting Eagles.
A back wall medic is a combat medic who has been assigned to a medical evacuation unit, said Staff Sgt. DJ Anderson of Rocklin, Calif., a back wall medic instructor for 2-1 GSAB. The back wall medics will go through additional training to assist them in aviation missions.
Anderson added, the back wall medic gets its name from the position of where they are in the aircraft.
The U.S. Army came up with this program to assist and provide better care for casualties, Anderson said.
It's a great opportunity to help a great crew of people to continue what they are doing here every day, said Capt. Steve Scuba, the brigade nurse assigned to the Gamblers, of Washington, D.C. “It's a really important and critical mission here in Regional Command-South.”
“I already had a little bit of skill set having flown in Iraq with patient transports,” said Scuba.
Spc. Marisol Landin, a combat medic assigned to the Gamblers, said medics are always training in different techniques and medicine always changes so they are always going to be learning something new.
“This isn't exactly something that comes around more than once or twice in a lifetime, so I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and try it,” said Landin a native of Jacksonville, Texas.
Being a flight medic is a complete different world from being a ground medic, said Sgt. Krystal Arney, a back wall medic instructor with 2-1 GSAB, from Lakeside, Calif.
“You lose your sense of hearing, it's a confined working space and you have more equipment to use than you normally have on the ground. And there are different things you have to think about when trying to get the patient to the hospital,” added Arney.
Arney said they are trying to get the ground medics used to working in an environment where they are unable to verbally communicate with each other. Most of the time, flight medics use hand signals.
For Scuba and his five crew members, this is really new to them even though he had flown patient transports in Iraq.
“The group is doing great,” said Anderson. “We are doing trauma lanes today and I'm impressed with what I'm seeing.”
“After seeing their skill level, we have some pretty competent people that know what they are doing,” said Arney. “Some of the things we do are a little different than the ground units, so we are going to continue to train them a little more to the way we do things.”
It's amazing training, added Scuba, and They try to make it as realistic as possible.
“The training was very well thought out and I feel like I'm a lot more prepared,” said Landin. “It was really good to go over some of the stuff that we have been trained on before.”
Landin added, it works as a refresher and preparation for what they will be doing in the future.
“Being a medic is what I wanted to do, it's something that I wouldn't give up and I don't regret anything that I have done thus far,” said Landin.
Crawell said of the ground medics, “they will be integrated into the unit and become part of the crew.”
“They're a great group of people and we look forward to working with them,” said Scuba.
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Johnathan Hoover
Provided through DVIDS
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