FORT McCOY, Wis., -- Combat medics from a Military Police Command conducted medical recertification training from March 5-14 at Fort McCoy.

Sgt. 1st Class Fernando Garcia, the senior medic for the 200th Military Police Command, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md., said he likes to bring his unit to train at the Fort McCoy Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC) because the training here is "levels above the other ones."

The Soldiers, who have a military occupational specialty (MOS) of 68W, first learn the medical skills in the MSTC's classroom environment, Garcia said.

"Then they go through a simulated combat environment that makes them work on those skills."

Unit members also train with other combat medics attending the training. Garcia said this gives them a chance to network with other Soldiers and learn how they approach medical scenarios.

Master Sgt. Bruce Kaufman, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the MSTC, said the facility offers several medical courses to certify medical skills.

The Soldiers from the 200th went through a 72-hour TC8-800 course, a battle-focused prehospital trauma emergency course, Kaufman said.

The course taught medical skills required to meet National Register of Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) re-registration training requirements, and enables Soldier medics to work in a civilian position, although not all of them do, he said.

Medical training in the course included trauma assessment and treatment; airway management; intravenous access; medications and management; medical assessment and treatment; triage and evacuation; cardiopulmonary resuscitation management; obstetrics; and pediatric treatment.

The hands-on training and skills testing is facilitated with lifelike mannequins that can be programmed to simulate breathing, bleeding, etc., and also allows the medical personnel to take and record vital signs, such as pulse, respirations, blood pressure, etc., he said.

Soldier medics are encouraged to take this necessary training annually, but they are required to complete the training every two years, with the training recertification deadline being March 31, Kaufman said.

"We are ready to meet any unit's need to conduct whatever medical training it needs," he said.

The MSTC also offers the battle-focused prehospital trauma emergency course individual table (component) training, a 110-hour EMT-basic full course and a 24-hour (three-day) EMT-basic refresher course, he said.

Other course offerings include the 40-hour combat life-saver course, and four-hour improved first-aid kit familiarization training.

Spc. Seth Davis, a combat medic with the 56th Military Police Company of Mesa, Ariz., said the training was some of the best he had received. The instructors were knowledgeable and knew their way around deployment scenarios, he added.

"I also learned the MARCH technique to help treat patients," Davis said. MARCH stands for massive bleeding, airway, respirations, circulation and hypothermia. "Before, we had been taught the ABC (Airways, Breathing and Circulation) techniques, but MARCH is much more advanced."

Spc. Daniel Stiles, a combat medic with the 372nd Military Police of Cumberland, Md., said the training also included medics from medical, civil affairs and other units so they could see how the medical scenarios play out and would be handled by medical personnel in different military situations.

"We also received hands-on training in real-world medical scenarios," Stiles said. "The experience of the instructors, who are former military personnel and in the same MOS, helps prepare us for what we will face if we're deployed, for example."