By Wallace McBride, Fort Jackson LeaderJuly 25, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Spc. Jesse Tobar had fallen from Victory Tower. Unconscious, he was unable to help Staff. Sgt. Vanessa Harden identify the nature of his injuries.
She treated him for shock and located internal injuries on the left side of his body as a supervisor watched over her, providing information about the training scenario she was taking part in.
Like Tovar, Harden was one of nine medics from the 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment taking part in a certification course at Fort Jackson July 19. Once she was finished treating Tovar for his imaginary wounds, it was her turn to play patient as he located and treated her "leg injury."
"Our medics are not able to perform medical care on any of our ranges, because they're not certified and underwritten by a physician's assistant," said Capt. Robert Setliff, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment. "We're trying to get these guys formally trained and underwritten by a physician's assistant from Moncrief Army Community Hospital."
Most of the Soldiers taking part in this certification program have combat field experience, but are unable to function as medics on post because of licensing standards. Setliff said the training is designed to show the physician's assistant offering to underwrite this certification that the participating Soldiers are competent in specific areas of expertise.
"At the moment, if there's an injury and it's not (a danger to) life, limb or eyesight, they have to call Emergency Medical Services," he said. "We have trained, certified medics on the ranges right now that can't perform first aid care for injured Soldiers."
Participating Soldiers spent the morning in the classroom, preparing for the types of injures they might experience on Fort Jackson's training ranges.
In the afternoon, they trained in handson exercise that posed emergency medical scenarios that let them apply their skills. The scenarios involved heat and physical injuries, and applying an intravenous catheter.
"It accesses their ability to perform certain actions and they will be scored," Setliff said. "After this, we'll compile data to see where our Soldiers' abilities stand, and derive a training plan based off this. It will drive our future training so that everyone is on the same page."