February 7th, 2007 05:17 EST
Iraqi troops continue to progress, learn life-saving skills
FOB HONOR — As the only medic on his Military Transition Team, Staff Sgt. Raymond Mainor has no problem staying busy.
Along with providing day-to-day care for the MiTT’s Soldiers and interpreters, the medic from the 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is also responsible for advising and assisting Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division with their medical needs.
“My job is to help improve the standard of medical care of my IA counterparts,” Mainor explained. “This is anything from basic sick call to doing emergency medical care on the battlefield. - anything to help conserve their fighting strength.”
To this end, Mainor recently shifted the focus of his attention from the IA medics to the regular Iraqi troops during a combat life-saver course he conducted here Jan. 23.
CLS is a common course for U.S. Soldiers that focuses on honing basic medical skills necessary to treat a casualty until trained medical personnel can take over.
“This is just like we do in the United States,” Mainor said of the class. “We’re taking the regular Soldier who’s going to be out with his buddy and giving him some basics where he can treat himself or whoever’s in his vehicle.”
Mainor said he wanted the training to be as similar as possible to the training U.S. Soldiers go through, and before getting into any hands-on exercises he focused on some of the basics of medical care with the Iraqi troops.
A variety of topics, to include controlling bleeding, airway management, the treatment of different types of burns and splinting a fracture were discussed during the classroom portion of the training.
According to Mainor, the class of about 20 Iraqis appeared interested and eager to learn all that they could.
“They’re very receptive,” Mainor said. “This was supposed to be a class of only eight, but it kind of grew. They stop by and sit and listen, which is good, I don’t mind that, I’ll teach anybody that’s willing to learn.”
Iraqi troops said they understand the importance of each of them having some basic knowledge about how to provide medical care.
“We have to know this class because we go on a lot of missions. If somebody gets injured you have to know how to treat them,” said Faisal Ghazee Hadi, one of the students in the class.
After completing the classroom portion of the training, Iraqi troops moved onto what is probably known as the most notorious part of CLS – inserting an intravenous needle.
The Iraqis gathered around Mainor, as he went through the entire process of preparing and inserting an IV step-by-step, before attempting the procedure on each other.
For most of these troops, it was the first time they had done anything like this, and while some were obviously a little nervous, with Mainor’s guidance, they each successfully inserted and started an IV.
“We learned a lot from this class,” Rafid Mahmood Mohammed said, adding, that the class gave him more confidence in his ability to provide emergency medical care. He said after going through the training, he is confident he would be able to apply what he learned on the battlefield.
Mainor said he will continue to conduct CLS training sessions as he works toward his goal of having at least one CLS-qualified troop in every vehicle that leaves the FOB.
“We’re trying to make the first responder close at hand,” he explained, “so if things go down, somebody’s right there.”
(By Sgt. Robert Yde, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)