CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (Nov. 26, 2012) -- The U.S. Army has a history of teaching Soldiers who aren't medics how to treat Soldiers wounded on the battlefield; in fact they start at basic training.
Kuwait National Guard Soldiers 1st Lt. Hashem Al-Refae and 1st Lt. Hamad Al-Shetail attended a recent combat lifesaver course at Camp Arifjan Nov. 13-16, 2012, so they could see how the U.S. Army trains its non-medical soldiers on tactical treatment of wounds. The four-day course covered classroom training as well as practical hands-on experience.
The combat lifesaver course teaches Soldiers how to establish fire superiority, help hurt Soldiers by stopping the bleeding, get wounded Soldiers to a safe location and call for help.
"The Kuwait National Guard wants to try tactical combat care and develop protocols to improve patient care," said Hamad.
Hashem and Hamad attended the class to exchange information on how each army treats the wounded. They have degrees in paramedics/emergency medicine and serve as emergency medical nurses. Both Kuwait National Guard and U.S. Army Soldiers had an opportunity to share their experiences and discuss similarities and differences in their jobs.
Hamed commented on one obvious difference between the Kuwait National Guard, or KNG, and U.S. Army, "KNG emergency medical technicians wear a slightly different uniform than the rest of the KNG, so an injured soldier knows who we are."
Their experience in civilian emergency medicine brought a new perspective to the class.
"The tactical way is different because it's about getting the casualty to safety first instead of treating them on the spot," said Hamad.
Staff Sgt. Frank Moore, the U.S. Army combat lifesaver course instructor, enjoyed having them in the classroom.
"They have a lot of experience on the civilian side and were able to explain the technical reasons why we do things a certain way, medically. They did the KNG proud," said Moore.
"It has been a real pleasure in each and every encounter we have had with the KNG medical soldiers and our exchange of information has been highly beneficial in increasing our knowledge base here in the Surgeon Cell," said Master Sgt. Michelle Shimps.
Hashem and Hamed agree that and the class was a positive experience and tactical combat casualty care training for many types of Soldiers is important.
"We are looking forward to more classes because you have to practice," said Hashem.
With Hamed adding, "We like how you have the non-medical background Soldiers doing this class. A lot of those without a medical background don't know what to do. With human life, time does matter. If you have some medical background near that can make a difference."