Coalition Medical Training Pays Off
Story by SGT Dennis Glass on 07/11/2018
First, a loud explosion was heard. This didn't seem troubling since he was teaching at a clinic in close proximity to a training site. But moments later someone rushed in with horrifying news; a gas tank had exploded, and there were casualties!
The FEDPOL students met victims of the explosion in the walk-in area of the clinic and put their first-aid skills to use. The students quickly applied tourniquets and evaluated the explosion victims for more injuries. One of the victims arrived at the clinic with partial amputations to both legs. With absolute professionalism, the students were able to stop the bleeding, stabilize with intravenous fluids, and arrange for the transfer of the casualties to the 47th Combat Support Hospital at the Baghdad Diplomatic Support Center for further care.
The triage and transportation of the injured personnel was coordinated by the Italian Carabinieri, another Coalition partner that has an integral role in training the FEDPOL. The Carabinieri's control over the chaotic situation allowed the CLS students effectively preform their skills.
Medical training that Coalition forces provide to their Iraqi partners saves lives, and it is on track to save more!
Nusbaum, a combat medic assigned to Task Force Medical 47, was able to witness his students use the six months of medical training they received to save lives in the very facility the training was given.
"It was one of the fastest response times I've seen for transferring a patient. Their knowledge of the skills, and their application of those skills in a timely matter, absolutely contributed to getting them to the CSH that quick," said Nusbaum. "Twelve months ago, if that patient had come into this clinic I doubt they would have made it out alive.""
TF MED 47 operates under Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, the Global Coalition of nations and partner organizations that advise and assist partner forces in both Iraq and Syria.
The Iraqi FEDPOL began their medical training after members of TF MED 47 were invited to observe and grade a basic combat lifesaver skills demonstration. However, TF MED members felt that it was inappropriate to grade the students without witnessing the training that the students had received. Subsequently, TF MED 47 was invited to assist with the FEDPOL medical training.
"The theater mission from our understanding was to help create a local national force that was self-sustaining and self-sufficient," said Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Kelley, Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of the Emergency Medical Treatment Team at the 47th CSH. Kelley said the question asked by the chain of command was; "If this is supposed to be self-sustaining, why are we just teaching CLS? Why don't we teach a CLS instructor course so that the local Federal Police can now teach themselves?"
Col. Robert Howe, commander of Task Force Medical BDSC, approved training for intermediate and advanced medical courses, which would qualify the Iraqi policemen to instructors. Kelley, along with key members of TF MED 47, were instrumental in developing Programs of Instruction which provided a detailed description of the course and phase content, duration of instruction, and resources used to conduct the class. So far 11 members of the Iraqi FEDPOL have completed the advanced course and are now qualified to teach the basic CLS course and see patients in their own clinic.
"I have Iraqi Federal police instructors training CLS for the Iraqis, saving lives for the Iraqis! That's self-sustaining! That's why we are here," said Kelley.
"We can teach anybody, but having somebody take that instruction and apply it, and then to share that knowledge with their counterparts; what that does is keep us from having to come back and do this again, and again and again."
Coalition CLS training of Partner Forces does not stop with TF MED 47 and FEDPOL. 1LT Daniel Gebhardt, a Physician Assistant at Union III Role 2 in Baghdad, shared that 12 members of the Iraqi Army living at Union III were trained in Basic Combat Life Saving. The FEDPOL response proves that this training is indeed life-saving. Offering this training at Union III serves as an example of the emphasis the Coalition places on continuing its proven success working together with Partner Forces.