Thunder Medics train to save lives
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- When treating a casualty on the battlefield, there is no time to waste. Every action taken is directly related to a Soldier's life in a crucial situation. In such circumstances, professionally trained health care specialists are greatly needed.
Health care specialists from 210th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, conducted a brigade-wide medical training exercise August 18-22, 2014 on Camp Casey, South Korea. The week-long exercise aimed to prepare Soldiers for realistic, combat scenarios and working night and day in a field environment.
According to Capt. Jeffrey Hannah, the battalion physician assistant for 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th FA Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., the intent is focused on the training of his Soldiers, as well as the evaluation of properly executed medical care. The training ranged from mass casualty treatment to ground and air methods of casualty evacuation.
"The medics were put through a week of field training, that was tough, realistic, mentally and physically challenging," said Hannah.
For Pvt. Vincent Gates, a health care specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 210th FA Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., the training was a chance for him to get hands-on experience to prepare for the real thing.
"Those were probably my favorite times just because there was so much confusion and you learn a lot more from it," said Gates, a native of Augusta, Ga. "You really learn how capable you are."
Many of the lessons taught through the field training were conducted under strain and especially stressful scenarios. To make the training more realistic, medics were surrounded by the sound of explosions and screaming, sometimes uncooperative patients. Gates also mentioned how important working as a team can be under such duress.
"A lot of it [the training] was dependent on working well as a group during this really chaotic time in order to address everything in a quick and accurate manner," said Gates.
Hannah also brought up how the training exercise serves well as an opportunity for Soldiers to stray from the daily routine and practice crucial aspects of their job.
"Brigade and battalion medical leaders and medics must continuously provide realistic training," Hannah added. "It's to develop and maintain combat-ready medics, providers, and units that can perform all assigned tasks to be prepared to ensure the units are ready to 'Fight Tonight'."