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NATO Troops in Iraq Learn Lifesaving Techniques

By Capt. James Lowe, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Feb. 10, 2006 – NATO soldiers assigned to the Iraqi Military Academy of Rustamiyah here trained with the U.S. 801st Brigade Support Battalion, 506th Regimental Combat Team, this week on Eagle First Responder lifesaving techniques.

Soldiers and officers from Great Britain, Romania, Hungary and Poland participated in the life-saving courses during the "train-the-trainer" classes. After completing the course, they will be able to, in turn, train and certify their soldiers in Eagle First Responder skills.

During the training, the soldiers learned advanced lifesaving techniques, ranging from applying a tourniquet to providing intravenous therapy and shock treatment, as well as other first-aid techniques. During the eight-hour training, the battalion's soldier-medics provided instruction on techniques currently used in Iraq.

"These techniques are combat-tested and proven to save lives," said Capt. Ryan Schwankhart, battalion operations officer. "By conducting combined operations, we provide a training platform for others to learn the 101st Airborne Division's standard of being an Eagle First Responder."

"This is the training that directly impacts lives on the dangerous roads of Iraq," agreed Maj. Anpal Kiss, the academy surgeon, a general practitioner from Hungary. "We are excited to participate in this training alongside our coalition partners."

British Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Bissett declared the session as "great training."

"This is far more comprehensive than what our ground forces usually receive," he said. "The procedures and equipment used by U.S. forces help to improve our ability to care for wounded on the battlefield."

Training went into the evening, with all participants administering intravenous fluids in buddy teams and taking part in scenario-based medical evaluation exercises to the standards required.

(Capt. James Lowe is public affairs officer for the 506th Regimental Combat Team.)

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Multinational Force Iraq

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