Friday, June 29, 2007

HOA: Medics educate and Seabees complete project

For some reason, the Horn of Africa has gotten my heart. I can see it has gotten the hearts of many of our military men and women as well. They are doing such a fantastic job over there.

In this first article, the medical personnel are taking classes so that they can help those people who live in isolated areas. They just don't want them to die if they could prevent it.

HOA Expeditionary Medical Force Educates to Save Lives.

26 Jun 07
by MC2(SW) Sunday Williams
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office.

CAMP LEMONIER, DJIBOUTI - In deployed locations, corpsmen and medics can’t be everywhere. It’s important for all service members to become Combat Life Savers so they can be trained in how to save a life in a remote location. The first few minutes of a traumatic injury are crucial to the victim’s survival, which is why it’s important to know at least basic life saving skills.

Navy Lt. Jeremiah Ingemunsun, Expeditionary Medical Forces, or EMF, helps service members do just that with the Combat Life Saver course, or CLS, he teaches once a month on Camp Lemonier.

Ingemunsun recently completed his fifth CLS course this month. The three-day class had 25 students from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Ingemunsun explained that the class provides support for military medics and corpsmen and gives victims a better chance of survival.

“It is just no longer plausible for the medics and corpsmen to provide all the initial care in the modern battle field,” said Ingemunsun. “They are limited and can not help everyone at one time. The more service members that get the proper training, the more people that can be saved.”

Navy Personnel Specialist Chief Petty Officer Margaret Greer took the class in May and said before taking the class she was not comfortable with her lifesaving skills.

“I am really glad I took the class because it has helped me relax a lot,” said Greer. “In the event there is a situation where I am OK and others are not, I want to be able to help whenever I can, and now I feel that I am able to.”

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Winder participated in the June class and explained that he learned a lot that he can teach others in the future.

“I am an instructor [back at home station] who teaches Self Aid Buddy Care.” said Winder. “It is our version of the CLS course, but it is only one day and not as extensive. I got a lot of really good information from this course that I can implement into our course. It was great.”

Ingemunsun agreed the course gives important information and the opportunity to get hands-on training.

“The hands on is the most important part of the training,” said Ingemunsun. “This is where the student can really learn and experience the training, especially with IVs.”

The course also consists of nine lectures and how to dress wounds, prepare splints, administer IVs to each other, and learn how to treat heat-related injuries, which is especially important in Africa.

With such an important task of saving lives, the lieutenant has his best instructors helping him teach the course.

“I have to say that without my instructors, the students would not get the close instruction that hands-on training has to offer,” said Ingemunsun. “They allow for more hands-on time, and at the end of each course, the instructors get great evaluations from the students.”

By the end of the course, he said students need to be able to assess a casualty, identify and immediately treat all life-threatening injuries, and successfully start an IV, which they only have two attempts to accomplish. However, successfully passing the course is not what’s most important to Ingemunsun.

“I want everyone who participates in this course to be successful and for the students to take with them the confidence and skills to save lives, not only on the battle field but in all areas.”

Photo - Hospital Corpsmen 3rd Class DeAnna Yaklich instructs Tech. Sgt. Carla Heuler as she inserts and IV needle and catheter into Tech. Sgt. Christopher Winder’s arm during the June Combat Life Saver course. The course teaches important life saving skills to service members that would not typically be trained medically. By the end of the three day course service members can dress wounds, prepare splints, administer IVs to each other, and treat heat-related injuries, which is especially important in Africa. This course gives more people the knowledge to assist in the first few minutes of a traumatic injury thus bettering the victim’s chance of survival. Photo by MC2 (SW) Sunday Williams.

These people are certainly impressive, if not to you, to me. The deserve our Honor. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the Armed Services.

Source: CENTCOM. (Broken link)
Cross-posted from DoD Daily News-2.

This next article is a sweet one. When I think of Seabees, I do not think of them doing anything on land. I know. They are not fish, but I just don't. Wait until you read this!

Seabees trade in their hammers for chainsaws to complete project.

24 Jun 07
by US Navy MC1 Mary Popejoy
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs.

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti – Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 spent the better part of June 13 cutting down trees at the Djibouti Hospital to make room for a community relations project that will include gazeboes that will improve the quality of life of the community.

The Djiboutians originally started removing the trees, but were unable to complete the project because they didn’t have the right tools. The director of the Djibouti Hospital asked Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s Charlie Company, 486th Civil Affairs Battalion for assistance. They in turn coordinated with the Seabees to get manpower and tools.

With chainsaws in hand and the right safety equipment to execute the job, the Seabees got to work on a very important project.

“These trees provide a great deal of shade, but they’re also home to a lot of black crows that make a lot of noise and inconvenience those who sit under the trees throughout the day,” said Army Maj. Kent Glover, Team 14-Alpha officer in charge. “By cutting down these trees, we’ll reduce the amount of crows in the area, which in turn will make the site more enjoyable when we build the gazeboes.”

This particular Seabee project is improving the quality of life of the Djibouti people and strengthening the bond the U.S. military has with the community.

“It’s good to volunteer and do projects like this because it improves an area that is used a lot and it shows them the U.S. military is doing good things and we want to be friends,” said Builder 2nd Class Matt Richnavsky, crew leader.

Glover agrees that even taking down trees has helped build a special bond with the local community.

“When we first started coming out here, they were hesitant to talk with us,” said the major. “But after a few visits they warmed up to us, and now it feels like we’ve known them our entire lives, which makes doing this project even more special. We’re doing this for friends who appreciate it, and that makes us feel good.”

Photo - Builder Construction Apprentice Jeffrey Olmstead works diligently to get the tree to go from being vertical to horizontal during tree excavation June 13 at the Djibouti Hospital. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mary Popejoy.

These guys are outstanding in my book, and they should outstanding your book as well!

Source: CENTCOM. (Broken Link)
Cross-posted from DoD Daily News-2.

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