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NEWS | Nov. 18, 2015

Combat medics get refresher training and more

By Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Hiler 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

When things go wrong in the field, Soldiers turn to the so-called “Angels of the Battlefield.” These highly-trained combat medics are there for when the worst-case scenario unfolds, whether on the battlefield or during training exercises, whenever Soldiers are injured or wounded.

In order to stay up-to-date on the best trauma practices, medics receive refresher training every two years. Luckily for Kentucky National Guard medics, the refresher training is offered at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, which is cost efficient and convenient for the Kentucky National Guard.

“This class provides the medics with all of the continuing education units required to recertify,” said Staff Sgt. Donald King, combat medic sustainment instructor for the 238th Regional Training Institute.

King said the RTI’s course “also gives them additional training that they cannot get in their units or elsewhere.”

Following the completion of the recent combat medic sustainment course, Soldiers received familiarization training on medevac flight operations. The RTI coordinated with Detachment 1, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 2/238th Aviation Regiment to provide medevac helicopter support for this PE.

“The purpose of this exercise is to give these medics experience with aviation flight medics and medevac aircrews so they are better prepared to evacuate patients to the next level of medical care,” said Sgt. Daniel Diehl, combat medic sustainment course instructor. “This is training that they would otherwise only receive when deploying overseas.”

The medics performed triage on simulated casualties in a field aid station and called in nine-line medevac requests. The exercise didn’t stop there. In this class, an actual UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter arrived to transport their patients to a field hospital.

“This is the best medic training I’ve ever received,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kirby Jones.

Jones is a recruiter for the Kentucky Recruiting and Retention Battalion who took the course to keep his rating as a medic current.

“I’ve been to four previous medic refresher courses at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell and other locations,” he said. “This class has been better by far because of the level of interaction with the instructors and the shared experiences of the other medics. No ‘death by PowerPoint’ here!”

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