Advanced trauma lanes training tests medics battlefield capabilities
Medics from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa recently held advanced trauma lanes training on Turf Field at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Aug. 31, 2013.
The drill started at dawn with intense physical training, which helped simulate the stress medics experience in the field.
A simulated attack occurred severely injuring several members. The medics triaged the screaming patients while under heavy enemy fire. The event’s realism added pressure to the medics who were trying to save lives and evacuate the injured to a simulated landing zone.
U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Phillips, senior medical training noncommissioned officer with the battalion, said the purpose of the trauma lanes is to use basic lifesaving interventions in a training environment so that the medics can build their teamwork and grow as a unit.
"The reason this training is so important is that this is the basics of our job. The fundamental of every combat medic is the ability to triage, treat and evacuate casualties to the next echelon of care," he said. "It reiterates the fundamentals of how to work as a team to accomplish the ultimate goal of saving your fellow Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines.”
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Joshua Patrick, the battalion medical platoon leader and officer-in-charge, evaluated the performance of his medical platoon, and even with some new Soldiers in the unit he said they performed well.
"They did a good job and were able to handle triage well under pressure," he said. “Training like you are in a real battle helps prepare the team for combat health operations.”
After the exercise, Patrick shared the data collected from training with the surgeon and the physician's assistant to help lead, develop and implement best practices to treat wounded service members on the battlefield.
Phillips said his ultimate goal is to hone their battlefield care skills and teach his Soldiers everything he has experienced in combat.
The medics do trauma lanes training every other week, focusing on different scenarios each time to challenge the medical platoon in all facets of trauma medicine.
"Medicine is a perishable skill and is something you have to go through a lot, and it changes constantly. So if it's not well versed or is not muscle memory, you are not going to do your job when you need to," said U.S. Army Sgt. Gregory Cotter, the battalion medical treatment team leader. "Our bread and butter is trauma medicine, and in our field if you don't do your job people, die. So adding extra scenarios to improve our medical capabilities ensures we will be ready to save lives when the time comes."
This training ensures military members assigned to CJTF-HOA are ready at a moment’s notice to deploy supporting military-to-military engagements throughout East Africa.