NEWS | Oct. 23, 2013

Joint Task Force-Bravo provides life support training for local firefighters

By Capt. Zach Anderson Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) provided life-saving skills training to local Honduran firefighters, Oct. 22-23.

The MEDEL trained 19 firefighters from the Departments of Comayagua, La Paz, La Esperanza, and Siguatepeque. The training consisted of basic first aid skills, such as hemorrhage control, bandage application, treating different types of burns, as well as lacerations, abrasions, and cuts. MEDEL personnel also taught the firefighters different methods of evacuating and assessing a patient.

"It is a modified basic life support class," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Darlene Hershman, a combat medic/LPN assigned to MEDEL. "A lot of the resources we have in the United States for training, they don't have. So through a class like this, we can work with them to increase their knowledge of medical care, and then they can pass on what they have learned to others."

During the final portion of the class, the firefighters had to quickly attend to individuals who were playing the role of "victims." The firefighters provided immediate care to the victim, and then evacuated them to a triage area.

"We are trying to get them prepared for anything they might encounter on the job," said U.S. Army Spc. Lourdes Tarin, an emergency medical technician assigned to MEDEL. "We are working with them to help increase their skills so that when they do encounter a situation, they will be prepared and confident and can use what they have learned to save a life, or multiple lives."

Since May 2013, Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element has trained more than 60 emergency responders from surrounding Departments' in order to enhance their life-saving skills, and better their overall training.