Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Introducing New Ems and Paramedic Training in Iraq

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Introducing New Ems and Paramedic Training in Iraq

Article excerpt

In a recent ceremony at the Iraqi Forum building in Baghdad, 31 Iraqis selected by the Ministry of Health were awarded certificates for completing the first of three emergency medical services (EMS) courses. Maj. John Kerstetter, an EMS medical doctor with the 109th Medical Battalion, an Army Reserve unit from Iowa City, Iowa, and the medical integration officer with Coalition Joint Task Force 7 (CJTF-7), rallied the support of CJTF-7 and the Ministry of Health to make these courses available to the Iraqi people.

According to Kerstetter, creating a first response team in Baghdad was critical because Iraq currently does not have an efficient telecommunications system and, as a result, emergency response times often can be extremely slow.

"In the old days, if a person were injured, an ambulance service might pick them up and take them to a hospital," said Kerstetter. "However, there would be no first aid or treatment involved. The purpose of this course is to train the people to take medicine to the people when they need it, whether that be to the home or out on the roadways."

"Now the people are qualified to assess and treat an injured person," said Dr. Aurora Merovci, an emergency room doctor from Kosovo who came to Baghdad to help teach the classes. "This course enables students to offer immediate treatment and to save lives."

Labeled as a "First Responder Course," the first phase of the EMS training is a broad introduction to the EMS system. During the two-week course, students learn first aid basics, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and physical trauma and shock treatment. …

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