FORT POLK, La. — Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital provided combat medic Military Occupational Specialty qualification training to installation Soldiers, U.S. Army recruiters, and the Louisiana National Guard this week at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk.
According to the U.S. Army Training Circular TC8-800, Medical Education and Demonstration of Individual Competence, Soldier medics must meet complete emergency medical technician recertification annually.
Training includes individual tasks such as identification and treatment of trauma, airway, intravenous access and medication administration, medical, triage and evacuation, force health protection, obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics. The seven-day training culminates in the skills validation trauma lane.
Staff Sgt. Cameron Reeves, non-commissioned officer-in-charge, BJACH hospital education department, conducts the training each month for medics across the installation and beyond.
Reeves said all medics are certified emergency medical technicians who must recertify annually with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and the U.S. Army.
“The training is seven days long, required to be completed each year before the end of March,” he said. “We offer the training and certification to any 68W who wants to attend. At the end of the week, I give them a full EMT assessment and trauma scenario.”
Reeves said there are between 300 and 350 combat medics assigned to Fort Polk. He works with every unit on post to ensure medics get the training they need.
“BJACH is the only organization on post certified to conduct this training,” he said. “I have 33 Soldiers participating in training this week. Recruiters from Mississippi, Texas and California, National Guard and medics from every unit on post.”
Sgt. 1st Class Sidney Pirtle, a 68W and recruiter assigned to the Pleasant Hill Recruiting Center near Oakland, California, said he could have taken this training at another military treatment facility but chose to come to Fort Polk because he was stationed at BJACH before his recruiting assignment.
“I’ve recruited two 68Ws so far. Medicine is always changing and evolving so it’s a career that will never grow old,” he said. “It’s been a great opportunity to return to Fort Polk for this training to catch up with colleagues I was stationed with. I knew Staff Sergeant Reeves would have the best, most realistic training because he incorporates medics from different units who bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to the training.”
Sgt. 1st Class Terrance Richey, NCOIC of the Soldier Center Medical Home, said he looks forward to refreshing his skills and EMT training each year.
“This is a perishable skill, as medics we are in a profession that requires continual training and annual recertification,” he said. “This has been one of the better classes that I have attended. The coordination and execution of this training has been exceptional.”
Sgt. Jareema Donaldson, Army Medical Department physician recruiter, Houston, Texas, said she has taken the training at Brooke Army Medical Center, Joint Base Sam Houston and Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas but decided to take the training at Fort Polk this year because she was stationed here from 2014-2018.
“The training has been excellent. It has incorporated changes to regulatory guidelines and new equipment,” she said. “I was excited to do the K9 Tactical Trauma Care because I’ve never done that before and it’s always great to learn something new.”
Donaldson said Fort Polk is a special place for her. Her first assignment was with 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team and she knew the training would be in line with the reputation of premier training offered at a combat training center.
Next week Reeves is working with 3rd Brigade Combat Team by providing unit specific training to ensure their medics are recertified and trained to standard before their upcoming JRTC rotation.
The Hospital Education and Staff Development team at BJACH offers a variety of continuing education training and certifications for medical professionals in addition to EMT training. To register for a class or set up training for your unit email the department at firstname.lastname@example.org < Caution-mailto:email@example.com > .