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Multi-capable 378th ECES firefighters

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Noah Tancer
  • 378th Air Expeditionary Wing

A medical textbook education is all well and good until you're staring at an open and bloody wound on an understandably irate casualty high on adrenaline.

That's why the 378th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron leadership got moulaged up and put on a show at Prince Sultan Air Base, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They wanted to see if their firefighters attending a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician program, could apply the classroom work in a chaotic situation.

“Moulage is essentially used to simulate severe trauma,” Staff Sgt. Cory Brooks, a firefighter with the 378th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron. “It is super important to not just see the pictures in a textbook, but to apply those classroom skills to a patient in the field.”

Using this type of realistic injury style training, helps students identify things quicker in the field, treat injuries faster and maybe save a life one day.

The class was made up of 15 students, each of whom went through 150 hours of education in the classroom and skills labs. To get their certifications as emergency medical technicians they will also need to take a hands-on physical test then advance to National Registry Cognitive Exams.

“Normally our firefighters are not certified to the EMT level, so this is an above and beyond certification,” said Brooks. “The national certification will help them when they get back to their home stations and for our Guard and Reserve guys, it can help them get full-time jobs at fire departments.”

To attend the college course on the civilian side, it’d cost approximately 3,000 dollars per student. The 378th ECES leadership was able to offer the students the opportunity to get their national registry for free.

“These guys will be able to take their skills back home to their units and hopefully promote others to get into emergency medical services,'' said Brooks. “Maybe one day they’ll end up teaching another class in a deployed location. That snowball effect is really what our goal is. We want to spread the training out, get more people certified and be able to help more in an emergency.”

The 378th Expeditionary Air Wing out of PSAB, is contributing to AFCENT’s area of responsibility in multi-capable Airmen development, mission augmentation partnerships and rapid innovative development of a long-term base. The 378th ECES through its diverse career field umbrella has a stake in all three. Firefighter skills enhancement is only one brick in the squadron’s mission advancement and AOR benchmarking goal.