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Minnesota National Guard
Combat medics conduct refresher training at Camp Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn " Several Minnesota Army National Guard combat medics are taking part in a 40-hour emergency medical technician refresher course at Camp Ripley instructed by the Regional Training Institute

This course is made up of 68W- Combat Medics and has students from several units including:  2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry; 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery and the 204th Area Support Medical Company (ASMC), said Staff Sgt Alexander Berg, an instructor with the RTI

An Army combat medic must maintain a national certification to keep their combat medic status

"To be a medic in the Army you must maintain an EMT (emergency medical technician) certification and to maintain that you have to do a certain number of continuing education hours every two years," said Berg  "If you are working full time as an EMT it can be easy to get those in, however, working a strictly a combat medic in the guard it can be hard to get those in  So we have a five day course here that gives those medics that opportunity"

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The students go through several hours of classroom instruction and also several practical exercises before being given scenario based tests

"This course has been the best one I have ever been through," said Spc Eric W Bies, a combat medic with the 204th ASMC "It's a really fast paced course but the instructors are great and they know the material"

The student to instructor ratio for the course is very low allowing the instructors to work closely with the students and ensure they fully understand the material

"If we need help with anything the instructors slow down and will explain it better," said Bies 

One of the scenarios the students are tested on is a potential spinal cord injury, requiring the victim to be immobilized on a long spinal board

"There has been a lot of great hands-on training," said Sgt Jennifer L Stenger, a combat medic with the 204th ASMC 

A combat medic job is to take care of injured or wounded Soldiers with immediate treatment  They administer emergency medical treatment to battlefield casualties, assist with outpatient and inpatient care and treatment, interview patients and record medical histories, take patient's temperature, pulse and blood pressure, prepare blood samples for laboratory analysis, keep health records, administer shots and prepare patients, operating rooms, equipment and supplies for surgery, according to the Army website

By 1st Lt Kenneth R Toole
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Officer
12 Jan, 2012

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