Airmen participate in Navy combat medic training

While under pressure from instructors, Senior Airman Jazzmine Rolon, 15th Aeromedical Dental Squadron, provides medical care to a simulated injured patient during a tactical combat casualty care course May 2 at Schofield Barracks. Rolon was one of two Air Force personnel in the Navy course. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez)

05/09/14

By Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez, 15th Wing Public Affairs

Two Hickam Airmen had their medic skills put to the test while attending Navy combat medic training April 30 through May 2.

Staff Sgt. Tyrone Shannon, 15th Medical Group, and Senior Airman Jazzmine Rolon, 15th Aeromedical Dental Squadron, participated in tactical combat casualty care (TCCC) training hosted by the Navy.

The quarterly training is designed to teach medics basic combat tactics and medical practices while in combat and to prepare medics for deploying to a combat zone.

The three main phases of training were medical care under fire, tactical field care and tactical evacuation.

“There’s nothing better than teaching a young Sailor or Airman how to effectively engage an enemy, treat their casualty, and get their casualty out of the kill zone,” said Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd (HM2) Class David Shepardson, the lead instructor for the training.

Shepardson said this is the first known time Air Force medics have participated in this type of training here.

“Overall, this class did very well,” he said. “For our Air Force students being outside their normal training environment, they did fantastic. They actively participated in the class and were very knowledgeable.”

Navy HM1 Trevor Wallace, Naval Health Clinic Hawaii and assistant lead instructor of TCCC, said the training is important and effective because it helps medics adjust to difficult conditions encountered in a combat zone.

“There are a lot of limitations a medic might run into while taking care of someone in combat,” Wallace said.
“When you’re in a [typical] hospital, you’re not providing care while surrounded by people who want to kill you. It adds pressure and stress that you wouldn’t experience anywhere else.”

To try and mimic combat pressure and stress, the instructors “aggressively motivate” the students by talking loud, close and direct.

“It’s a pretty intense course,” Shannon said. “I didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t heard about it. I think every medic should experience this type of training.”

The final day culminated with a demanding exercise scenario where students had to navigate past aggressors with paintball guns, enter a dark and smoky “kill house,” and treat and recover a dummy with simulated injuries.

Once recovered, the students had to explain to instructors the injuries and methods of treatment, all while under pressure from speakers blaring combat noise and yelling instructors.

“You find out quickly what it’s like to experience fear and pressure while trying to care for someone,” Rolon said. “I feel like if you’re going to deploy as a medic you should do training like this because it’s effective.”

TCCC instructors hope to have more participation from all military branch medics in future classes.

“We’re definitely trying to open this up and make it more of a joint-service training,” Wallace said. “Hopefully, having the Air Force train with us is the first step in making that happen.”

Shannon shared some advice for medics who plan to attend TCCC in the future: “Be in shape because the class is non-stop and intense, and know your basic life support.”

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