By Ms. Veran Hill (Jackson)March 9, 2017
With Columbia's "Famously Hot" temperatures and the vigorous training conducted on Fort Jackson, maintaining vigilance is at the utmost to prevent heat casualties or fatalities.
Fort Jackson leaders are preparing for the summer heat by having its team complete the Heat Illness Prevention training. Heat illness includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, rhabdomyolysis and hyponatremia.
HIP training is mandatory for all leaders and cadre members before being placed in charge of Soldiers or students, said Mary Reardon, a safety specialist for the Fort Jackson Safety Office.
"If you have someone who has never been in this environment, they are not generally aware how vulnerable the Initial Entry Training Soldiers are, they may not realize that they may be susceptible to a heat illness," Reardon expressed.
The heat illness training is the first step to prevention with recognition of symptoms and knowing how to respond following. When heat illnesses are identified, "Rapid reaction is what's most important, because any delay in treatment, the body temperature goes up and the body can
start seizing up.
"The unit will do follow-on training to conduct man down drills and promote hands-on use of their Wet Bulb Globe Temperature device (used to estimate the effect of temperature, humidity, wind speed, visible and infrared radiation on humans). The cadre should know if the WBGT is serviceable, they should know how to set it up, use it and reinforce when they've tracked the Heat Category (a range based on the WBGT).
"The cadre are to adjust the uniform and the pace of training," said Reardon.
Unit leaders must ensure that the following measures are taken to prevent heat illness:
n Update Cold/Heat Illness Prevention (CHIP) Leader Cards. Used to track Soldiers who have been
identified to have prior heat issues or factors that would make them susceptible to becoming a heat casualty.
n Have WBGT Thermometers. Ensure thermometers are serviceable and positioned correctly. Get a WBGT reading every hour when the ambient temperature is over 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Enforce pace of training and frequency of rest breaks.
n Monitor and enforce hydration standards. Track fluid consumption by monitoring the Ogden cord and beads worn by IET Soldiers. Do not exceed 1.5 quarts per hour or 12 quarts per day, it can cause hyponatremia.
n Promote body temperature cooling. Use Arm Immersion Cooling Stations, Powerbreezer, and Tactical Mister to prevent over-heating.
n Monitor and enforce eating meals.
n Execute random checks. Enforce Soldier to observe their buddies for signs of heat illness.
n Follow clothing recommendations based on heat category.
It's important to have these measures in place for stringent events explains 2016 Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year, Sgt. Ryan Moldovan.
Moldovan adds his personal use of the AICS tank when competing for Drill Sergeant of the Year, "It was a humid and super-hot morning. The AICS was set up at mile six of the 12 mile ruck march event. Before reaching the AICS tank, I could feel how my body core temperature was rising
from the heat and wearing my full uniform. I knew from experience if I were to go faster, my body core temperature would have gotten too hot and I could have fallen out.
"When I dipped my arms into the AICS tank, it rejuvenated my Warrior Spirit."
HIP training is conducted at the Fort Jackson Safety Office 1 p.m. each Monday from April through September.