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Care Under Fire

  • Published
  • By MSgt. Katherine Novales
  • 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group

The 43rd Medical Squadron recently collaborated with the 18th Air Support Operations Group and Air Force Special Operations Command instructors to complete a Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) course at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina. Governed by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), it teaches critical life-saving skills in contested environments using strategies for optimal trauma care in the battlefield.

“The greatest benefit from TCCC is that the standardized training was developed by combat vets for combat vets,” said Jeremy Miller, veteran, former chief certification officer for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and current member of the NAEMT Board for Military Affairs. “It’s created from evidence-based practice through the guidance of the TCCC committee. It’s one of the few times in life when theory meets practice to develop the whole training package.”

Although NAEMT only requires 16 hours of training within a two-day course, the cadre from the 18 ASOG went above and beyond to provide a three-day course. After years of teaching, the team found this approach provides a better quality of instruction and more hands-on practice.

Airman Kandra Thompson, medical technician, 43rd Medical Squadron, described the course to be thought-provoking and engaging. “The best part of the class was the feedback after each hands-on trauma scenario,” she said afterwards. “The instructors were very knowledgeable and took the time to discuss each individual’s performance.”

The class served as more than just a requirement for those attending. In addition to fulfilling training requirements for Air Force and Army medics, three instructor candidates were offically validated and certified to train others. With the help of 43rd Medical Squadron Commander, Col. Timothy Ballard, the program also earned Affiliate Faculty status, which allows instructors to be trained locally, thus expanding readiness capabilities for combat medics throughout the installation.

The joint collaboration between the Air Force, Army and mission partners across four Major Commands is key to ensuring Team Pope and Fort Bragg remain willing, able and ready to answer our nation’s call at a moment’s notice.