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Iron Thunder medics keep Soldiers in the fight

Fort Bliss

POSTED: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 7:51pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 7:56pm

The Medical Platoon of 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, brought experience and hard work together to keep Soldiers training and “fighting” during Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) 14.2.

Soldiers were able to deliver the reliable fire support needed from an artillery unit, which required healthy and ready-to-fight personnel throughout this extensive, semiannual training where 2nd BCT conducted assessments of various types of equipment in a tactical operation environment.

Medical platoon leader, 2nd Lt. Sabrina Sanchez, explained how her platoon cared for Soldiers while being deployed in a field-training environment. “Our mission is to provide level one care to our Soldiers. We have medics that move with our line batteries and are able to care for casualties at the point of injury. The injured personnel will then be moved to the nearest ambulance exchange point or aid station,” explained Sanchez. 

Medics must also make the critical decision of which location will be the quickest to tactically evacuate casualties – often through difficult terrain or weather conditions.
“If we are the closest aid station, we will receive the casualty and our physician assistant will conduct an assessment. From there, I am able to call a 9-line medevac and send that Soldier to the next level of care,” continued Sanchez.

The unit’s medical platoon is split into two major halves, which are the aid station crew and the evacuation crews. Cpl. Jaia Spear, 4th Bn. treatment NCO, coordinates training and daily duties within the aid station, as well as partially directs the aid station evacuation crew.

“Being a medic, supply and demand isn’t very even. We don’t have a lot of treatment work every day, so we fill each day with some type of training. We’ve done everything from starting level tasks like heat casualty treatment all the way to digital blocking procedures,” explained Spear. 

Medical evacuation crew medic, Pvt. Justin Dimmitt, talked about treating Soldiers and how the crews spend their time in the field. “Our mission right here is to support the gun line. We move with them, we eat with them, and we check on them every morning and night. It’s a daily routine,” said Dimmitt. “Whenever we have down time, we go over basic spinal or head trauma injuries. We plan for rollover injuries as well as treatment for someone who might drop an artillery round on their foot.”

Spc. Ryan Sager, a cannon crewmember assigned to Battery A, 1st Platoon, talked about an injury he sustained while in the field, as well as the treatment he received from the unit medics. “One night while we were leaving a firing box, I received an injury on my lower left leg. We immediately stopped the convoy and the medics were called over to my gun. They quickly treated it and rushed me to the battalion aid station,” explained Sager.

“Since then, they’ve given me a very thorough follow up. I see our line medics once a day for them to inspect and clean my injury. They’ve done a great job and have given me excellent medical treatment,” said Sager.

The unit medics successfully treated all types of injuries and illnesses throughout the NIE, as well as conducted basic Soldier training to gain further experience in delivering quality and effective care. “This is where we really get to perform and train. We get to show and shine, (during NIE) and prove that we know what we’re doing,” concluded Dimmitt.

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