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Members of Fort Jackson’s 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment participate in a five-week, 200-hour immersive emergency medical technician training that goes beyond the usual combat living courses standard to the Army. The 1-61 spearheaded the initiative to arm drill sergeants with skills needed to improve Army training. (Photo by Sgt. Dane Howard) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL


Given the variety of environments that Soldiers could be thrown into, medical training is key to injury prevention and lifesaving. While many Soldiers receive training on Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Combat Lifesaving Course, Soldiers from 1st Battalion 61st Infantry, 3rd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry regiment and the Directorate of Emergency Services are receiving a special Emergency Medical Technician Course offered by Midlands Technical College-Airport Campus in Columbia, South Carolina.

This 200-hour immersive course runs through airway respiration and ventilation, cardiology and resuscitation, EMS operations, and trauma. Upon Completion of the 5-week intensive course, these Soldiers will be qualified to take the National Registry EMT which opens doors to multiple job opportunities including but not limited to firefighter, emergency dispatcher, medic, emergency room technician and even a crime lab technician. Army EMT’s also augment combat medics on the battlefield and during all mass casualty situations.

For Soldiers who choose to continue their service in the military, the EMT certification will give their military resume an additional spotlight for broadening under the institutional domain. Not only will they be certified in their trained Military Occupational Specialty, but they will have all the knowledge needed to be considered a national registered EMT. The 1-61 spearheaded the initiative to offer development opportunities during the short-fill phase.

The 1-61’s senior enlisted leader Command Sgt. Maj. Stuart Sword noted, “The institutional development opportunity is a key component to leader development; we are able to pay forward the development of our drill sergeants-ensuring they are instant value added to (Forces Command) units upon (permanent change of station).”

The EMT partnership with Midlands Tech is the first of its kind for Fort Jackson. The course work covers a foundational knowledge of Basic Life Support, Basic EMT skills, battlefield medicine principles, airway management, patient assessment, limited primary care, medical emergencies, trauma, ambulance operations, and versions of TC3.

Students learn to master theories in pre-hospital care, transporting patients, as well as anatomy and physiology, with a focus on patient assessment and appropriate interventions in various rescue scenarios, including trauma, extrication, medical emergencies, behavioral and environmental emergencies and special populations such as children and the elderly. Training in basic life support (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and certification will also be provided. The drill sergeants will also conduct 16 hours of ride-along with ambulance squads in Columbia during peak hours.

The drill sergeants that successfully complete the course are certified to the national standards of EMT, and proficient in TC3 principles. The next special session EMT with Midlands Tech is scheduled to begin on Aug. 1. Interested Soldiers should contact their first sergeant about slotting.

The 1-61st S-3 noncommissioned officer-in-charge is serving as project lead.