By Valerie Collins (Leonard Wood)September 28, 2017
Training saves lives. Some of the training at Fort Leonard Wood simulates real-life combat situations to prepare each Soldier in the best possible way. With such intense training, instructors and medical teams must also be prepared for worst-case scenarios.
Sgt. Matthew Juarez, Combat Training Company medic, put together a training exercise on Sept. 20 at Range 4. The exercise included Range Control, Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department, EMS, Mercy Lifeline and the Directorate of Emergency Services.
"In this environment, we can become stagnant and stop using our tools as a training medic," Juarez said. "These types of training exercises help hone our skills and keep us practicing."
Staff Sgt. Steven Crayton, CTC, range cadre, was covered in fake blood and cast to be the simulated casualty for the day. The injuries simulated were consistent with those of an individual within the blast of a grenade.
Juarez said the most important aspect of this exercise was assessing communications between all participating units. Time is important in situations like this, he said, explaining that improving communications means getting the injured Soldier the help he needs in the least possible amount of time.
"During each training cycle, trainees participate in high-risk training events. Conducting evaluations of the installation's medical assets familiarizes new medical personnel on installation procedures and tests the responses of emergency medical resources that will respond in the event of a traumatic incident occurring to a trainee," Juarez said.
Capt. Nathan Riehl, CTC commander, said, "Being able to coordinate with the rest of the entities across the installation, it really gave us a good picture of exactly what our medics will be able to provide from the moment of injury to the moment the EMTs arrive."
Riehl pointed out this is the first time an exercise of this nature has been conducted on such a large scale, with so many external assets involved.
"The exercise was a success," Riehl said. "Our medics are knowledgeable and educated, but to be able to put it through the paces out here and actually demonstrate that is a different thing and they did an excellent job."
"Everyone saw the hiccups that needed addressing and that was the goal," Juarez said, adding that all entities received a passing grade.