Saber medics broaden skills in Iraq
March 8, 2011
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Some people fear the sight of blood or even the hint of a needle, but not the medics of 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment. They jump at every opportunity to improve their medical and life-saving skills.
All the medics of 6th Sqdn., 9th Cav. Regt. are trained to level-one care standards per Army regulations. These level-one skills allow the Soldiers to set up and run an independent aid station at the squadron to treat injuries; especially those that threaten life, limb, or eyesight.
However, when a patient comes into the aid station with a condition that requires more advanced skills, the patient must be sent off to a level-two care or medical facility.
Fortunately, for the Saber medics, the squadron is advantageously situated next to Witmer Troop Medical Clinic, at Camp Liberty, Iraq, a level-two care facility.
"Being next to this level-two aid station has given us a unique opportunity to cross-train on a new set of skills that will allow us to better treat the troopers of the squadron," said Staff Sgt. Robert Casto, a treatment noncommissioned officer.
Troopers took advantage of this opportunity by setting up a level-two training program with the Soldiers of the 546th Area Support Medical Company, who operate the facility. This teaches the Soldiers new medical skills in the areas of lab work, dental, electrocardiogram (EKG) and x-rays.
"This training opportunity has allowed us to get some hands-on training in situations that we are not normally exposed to," said Pfc. Jesse Gould.
Currently, the training program is a two-week rotation that involves one squad from the medical platoon shadowing the Soldiers from the 546th Area Support Medical Company for a week and then getting hands on training on these new level-two care skills the next week. The Saber medics plan to continue this training and work rotation with the 546th Area Support Medical Company as long as they can.
"It is important to learn these skills because there may be heavier demands on medics and their abilities and we may not always be next to a level-two care facility like this," said Sgt. Buddy Stratton, a treatment noncommissioned officer.
The medics of Saber Squadron build upon their skill sets to provide the best care they can to their fellow Soldiers and increase their mission capabilities.