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Combat medic course concludes year's stay at Fort McCoy

Oct 8, 2009

By Tom Michele

The 68W combat medic pre-deployment training course, which is concluding its one-year stay at Fort McCoy, Wis., is being declared a success by management and course instructors alike.

The course, which is mandatory for all deploying 68W National Guard and Army Reserve Soldiers, previously had been held at Camp Bullis, Texas, as well as 11 various locations throughout the United States.

Sgt. Maj. Bruce Timmins, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the 181st Infantry Brigade's Medical Training Battalion, said "in the year the course was at McCoy, more than 2,800 Soldier medics received the required pre-deployment training."

"It has been very much a success at Fort McCoy," Timmins said. "We were able to train Soldier medics to be better prepared to accomplish their theater medical missions."

Timmins said the biggest impact this training has provided to the U.S. armed forces is that Soldier medic skills are enhanced to meet mission challenges.

This is important since many of these medics do not regularly practice medicine as part of their civilian jobs.

Medical Battalion Commander Col. Danny Tye said this training results in "expertly trained Soldier medics with the required skills to save lives on the battlefield."

Since this specific training began, the combat mortality rate decreased from the 20 to 30 percent in prior conflicts to less than 2 percent now.

In the past four years the Medical Training Battalion has trained in excess of 10,000 Soldier medics to stringent National Registry and Army Medical Center and School Standards.

Tye said the now-concluding pre-deployment training course is evolving into a slightly different Pre Deployment Trauma Training (PDTT) designed to have mobile training teams train brigade combat team medics at mobilization sites.

The new PDTT course is being established at the Army Medical School in San Antonio, and now is required Armywide.

"Our organization at Fort McCoy is being disestablished," Tye said. "The last training day was Oct. 2, and the last day personnel will be at Fort McCoy will be Dec. 1."

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