By Pvt. Erin Greenberg
Georgia State Defense Force Soldiers will have a new training opportunity coming soon—the Medical First Responder (MFR) course.
The course seeks to train troops both within and outside the 132nd Medical Battalion with an enhanced first aid capacity. MFR troops will be used as force multipliers during major incident responses, similar to the U.S. Army’s Combat Lifesavers, and as onsite medical care for their individual units.
Medical responders are often in short supply, even during the best of times. This training will ensure the GSDF can respond effectively in the worst of times. Units with trained MFRs will have a greater capacity to provide advanced first aid response on local missions and have enhanced pre-mission screening capabilities to ensure troop readiness. MFR troops can also be onsite safety advocates during normal unit operations and provide valuable first aid care while waiting for a more advanced response.
The training covers medical emergencies and serious injuries MFR troops might encounter a major incident response. Soldiers learn a variety of skills, including CPR, casualty evacuation, burn and wound care, heat and cold injury response, and other first aid procedures. The curriculum incorporates the Tactical Combat Casualty Care for All Service Members course from the U.S. Army and the Basic Life Support certification course from the American Heart Association. Soldiers complete a variety of practical skills checks and take written exams for final certification.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Thomas Liles, the course instructor, is excited about the opportunity for new training for GSDF troops.
“The goal is to get the best care to those in need in the shortest time possible,” he said. “This [training] will allow their units to continue with mission-specific activities while experiencing minimal disruptions.”
The course was first offered to 132nd Battalion Soldiers as a “beta” rollout during March and April drill weekends and will be evaluated for curriculum and format changes.
“We want to provide a quality learning experience going forward, and there is a lot of material to absorb in a limited time,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Liles.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Liles is looking forward to finalizing the course and rolling it out to other GSDF units in the coming months.
Soldiers from the Georgia State Defense Force 132nd Battalion practice providing two-person CPR to a training mannequin during the Medical First Responder course, Douglas County Fire Department Training Facility, Douglasville, Ga., April 15, 2021.
Georgia State Defense Force photo by Pvt. Erin Greenberg