Combat medics saving lives after intensive training

It takes intense training to make it to the battlefield, and one technique can mean the difference between life and death.

Outside Forward Operating Base Courage, it's a seemingly quiet day. Inside, soldiers are enjoying a much deserved break. Then, all of a sudden, an attack on base leaves troops critically injured.

Combat Medics respond in seconds to treat gruesome injuries, but they're fake.

It's week 16, the final week of training for these medics, and it hasn't been easy.

Army officials say each year about 7,000 medics start the training. Close to 1,200 or just over 17-percent don't make it to this stage.

Those who do, learn what it takes to keep the stress from overwhelming them. Combat Medic Instructor Sgt. Michael Mazzoni
says, "We tell them when that adrenaline starts pumping through your body, you can get stronger...faster...and dumber. That's why they're taught to rely on their muscles instead of their minds."

Medic in training, Pfc. Joshua Hedman it's all about the preparation. "Once you get that muscle memory, in any condition, given any injury, you're ready to go."

Another Medic in training Joel Fernandes echoed those thoughts. "Now, we can just look at an injury and we know what to do so it's a lot faster treating it."

Muscle memory is defined as the ability to memorize or perform well rehearsed motion or motor skills less consciously or more by habit. Simply put, it is your memory for motor skills.

"Your hands should be moving without you even thinking about it," Mazzoni said.

Private Hedman tells us that happens by doing these procedures over and over and over again. "You don't even have to think about what our next step is, You're reaching for the next piece of equipment or your buddy working across from you on the other side is handing you that equipment. It's kind of like an orchestra," he said. "Everything is strung together really well, and it works beautifully together."

Doing instead of thinking, plus their own ingenuity could be what helps these medics save lives overseas, and they learn it all here.

Once medics make it through the grueling 16 week training course, they can be deployed to the front lines within three to six months.


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