Role-playing exercises are an essential component of combat medic training. Medics enter real-world scenarios and must integrate both medical and nonmedical support to treat the wounded. Smoke machines, strobe lights and recorded gunfire recreate the sights, sounds, and chaos of a combat situation. Casualty role players are encouraged to yell in pain and, at times, to be uncooperative. Medics are tested in a trauma area where casualties suffer from chest wounds to amputations. They might also enter a chemical scenario and need to wear protective gear to treat casualties following an explosion. In addition, teams of medics may have to advance through an obstacle course, carrying a litter with a live “patient” through narrow passageways and rocky terrain, and over high walls. In these scenarios, medics have only a few minutes to assess the extent of the injuries, recommend treatment and stabilize the wounded. Medics leave this training with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide quality battlefield-level medical intervention to preserve the lives of injured personnel.
Medics practice triage techniques in a hostile situation during training.
Army Reserve Soldiers at Fort Gordon unload a casualty for treatment during Exercise Golden Medic.