Iraqi emergency units complete EMT training
January 5, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq (Army News Service, Jan. 5, 2011) -- Iraqis with the Iraqi Emergency Security Unit completed emergency medical technician training, Dec. 28, after five weeks of coursework with U.S. Army medics.
Provided by the "Thunderhorse" medics of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, the training began in late November. Instruction was provided to Iraqi Police, the Emergency Security Unit and members of the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
The ISF members learned basic medical skills with the goal of making them subject matter experts for their respective organizations in emergency medical care. Throughout the course, the ESU students trained on skills such as clearing the airway, restoring breathing, controlling bleeding and treating shock.
They students also learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation, trauma care, medical assessment training, medical evacuation training, and the extraction of casualties from vehicles and the rooftops of buildings.
During the final portion of their training, the students conducted hot loading of helicopters with patients on a litter.
The Forward Medical Service Team, the "Dust Offs" of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, from Fort Riley, Kan., provided the MEDEVAC platforms and the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for the final training exercise of the course.
Sgt. Matthew Giersdorff, platoon sergeant, Company C, 2nd Bn., 1st Avn. Regt., said the MEDEVAC exercise completed the training and provided a sense of how the ISF have progressed throughout the course.
Giersdorff added that most of the ESU never had formal training prior to the EMT class and now the ISF unit will have its own medical capabilities.
"I hope they don't ever have to use this training," said Giersdorff. "But now that they have received training, if anything were to happen, they would be able to be litter bearers whenever we conduct joint missions together."
Giersdorff said he hoped the ESU students continue progressing and continue on to receive additional medical aircraft training. With that training, he said, the ISF might become flight medics -- or even doctors and nurses.
For Cpl. Adil Najmiddin Ameen, a shift leader with 2nd ESU Battalion, Iraqi Police, this time through the course was his second. Though this time he served as an instructor, training other Iraqi Police how to conduct the emergency medical procedures.
"It's our role to convey the modern medical ideas to our Iraqi Army units in order to serve our people and save lives," said Adil. "This is a bridge to convey our voice to the people who are expecting us to be well-trained in order to have a significant and effective role in our society."
Adil said what he likes most is the hands-on aspect of the training he was part of conducting.
"The training isn't completed until its hands-on because a lot of people don't fully understand what is being taught until they're doing it themselves; then the concept of what the U.S. Soldiers are teaching us is more easily grasped," Adil said.
Capt. Harold Yu, a physician's assistant with 2nd Bn., 12th Cav. Regt., said he hopes that because of this training exercise, the ISF students can help save lives in Kirkuk and will use the knowledge and skills they learned to instruct and train future EMTs in Iraq.
"This graduation has helped us to reach a huge milestone in order to pass the torch to the Iraqi Security Forces," said Yu.
While in Iraq, the "Thunderhorse" medics of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment are attached to the 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, 1st Infantry Division.