KUWAIT NAVAL BASE, Kuwait (Oct. 12, 2014) -- Combat medics with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division participated in Table VIII, annual combat medic skills validation testing, Sept. 24-25, at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation beach here.
The testing is an annual requirement for all combat medics in order to maintain their military occupational skill proficiency and qualifications.
Soldiers are also required to complete 72 hours of continuing education units every two years to maintain their National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians qualification certification with more than 75 percent of those hours coming from Soldiers completing training on Tables I through VII.
"Training gives medics an opportunity to implement the 'Devil' imperative life-saving skills in real time and under increased pressure," said 1st Lt. Jenny Krause, physician's assistant, HHB, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt. "This training allows leaders to ensure our medics have the skills necessary to save a life when the time comes."
Krause, a native of Manhattan, Kansas, said the battalion has 16 combat medics, and it can be a challenge finding time to maintain Soldiers' profi-ciency because of an increased battle rhythm.
During the course of the two days, four combat medics were evaluated on opening airways, administering intravenous medication, hemorrhage control, detailed patient care, anatomy and physiology, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, rapid trauma assessment, and detailed patient evaluation and evacuation.
Pfc. Joshua Elliott, and Spc. Nathan Matson, both combat medics, HHB, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt., waited together for the start of the hands-on medical skills recertification testing.
Elliott, a native of Seattle, said he loved his job and looked forward to the annual recertification testing because it reminded him of why he joined the Army and became a combat medic.
"Medical emergencies don't happen on a schedule, so we have to always be ready to handle them," said Sgt. 1st Class Tiffany Compton, senior medic, HHB, 1st Bn., 5th FA Regt. "That is why it is so important for our medics to be proficient in their (military occupational specialty), in order to provide the best possible care to fellow Soldiers."
Compton, a native of Houston, said the medics were tested on more than 50 percent of the tasks and drills listed in the Medical Education and Demonstration of Individual Competence manual, and Soldiers had to demonstrate their familiarity with each task.
"The re-certification testing is very stressful, but it feels good to re-familiarize myself with all the hands-on task and drills," said Matson, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. "This makes me a better medic and allows me to provide the best medical care possible."