Story and photo by Sgt. Grady Jones
3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division
In an open field, a Soldier stands ready to guide the landing of a Black Hawk UH-60A helicopter. Nearby lies a simulated casualty on a stretcher being protected by his comrades from the rock, dust and debris blown through the air by the helicopter.
Health care specialists from 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted medevac training Sept. 3 in preparation for the Expert Field Medical Badge course held Sept. 7-18 at the Camp Red Devil training area.
One responsibility of being a health care specialist, commonly referred to as a combat medic, is to help save lives. Whether in a combat environment or training at their home installation, an injured Soldier relies on combat medics to be at the top of their game when it comes to assessing casualties or injuries.
The training, sponsored by 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd ABCT, covered areas such as injured personnel extraction, nine-line medical evacuation requests and loading casualties on an air ambulance.
“I thought (the training) was pretty cool,” said Pfc. Jordan Parker, health care specialist, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment. “Being able to call to an actual medical evacuation helicopter made it seem more realistic.”
Training for the EFMB course is important, since the passing rate across the Army is between 15 and 18 percent, said Staff Sgt. Robert Mullins, treatment platoon sergeant, Company C, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd ABCT, who was selected to train and prepare EFMB candidates from the “Iron” Brigade.
“When (the candidates) get there, they’ll be prepared for what they are going to deal with,” Mullins said. “My goal is to get a 50-100-percent pass rate, which would increase the amount of expert field medics within the brigade itself.”
The EFMB is divided into two parts — standardization week and test week. During standardization week, EFMB candidates are taught the requirements to pass test week.
To earn the badge, candidates have to pass a written exam and successfully complete multiple medical tasks and non-medical warrior skills tasks to include day and night land navigation, proficiency tasks with an M4 or M16 series rifle and the use of the Oregon Spine Splint and Sked Stretcher. Candidates conducted tasks in the midst of simulated small arms-fire and artillery.
Parker said the training was beneficial.
“Having this training will turn standardization week into a ‘refinement week’ for me,” said Parker.
The course concluded Wednesday with a 20-kilometer road march, which had to be completed in three hours or less.