KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Keesler Medical Center replaced self-aid and buddy care for medics with the Tactical Combat Casualty Course.
The course focuses on preparing medics for the deployed environment.
“We [medics] have the medical skills down, but your average Airman doesn’t have the tactical training,” said Senior Airman Brock Mauldin, 81st Medical Support Squadron emergency medical services site coordinator. “This training prepares them to save someone who is critically hurt while being shot at. They’re now going to know how and when to recover this person, when to throw on the tourniquet and when to treat secondary wounds after they get to safety.”
This course initially started in October 2019 but first they have been trying to gather enough instructors so the classroom is at max capacity.
“The first few classes we hosted were to make instructors,” said Mauldin. “Ideally, if we have maximum participation, it will be 24 students in a class, but the first few classes had an average of about seven to 14 people.”
In order to become an instructor for this course, personnel have to complete the required training.
“This is regulated by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Arnold, 81st Medical Group TCCC coordinator. “They first have to take the class, complete an online instructor course and then teach the class while an affiliate with NAEMT observes and evaluates them and decides if they can become an instructor.”
The course entails two days spent in the classroom learning about medications and what steps to take when they need to rescue an injured person, and on the third day the students put everything they learned to use in a final exercise.
“We’ll be yelling at them, there are simulated gun noises, spurting blood, screaming and a lot of stuff going on at once,” said Mauldin. “It really teaches the students how to perform under stress which is what they’re going to have to do when they deploy.”
Keesler adopted this course after seeing positive results from other military branches who use this training.
“This course provides more in-depth medical training,” said Arnold. “We get the medical stuff, we’re good at that, but when you take that and add getting shot at, how do you train for that? This course is important to the military and it makes better medics because if you can perform medical treatment in that situation, you should be able to do it anywhere.”