TEEX has initiated a special EMT-Paramedic program for 24 soldiers in the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Hood. A combination of eLearning, classroom and clinical rotations make up the 1,033 hours of the “fast-track” training program designed to prepare the soldiers for testing at the EMT-Paramedic level exam through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).
The 85th Civil Affairs Brigade is the first active duty civil affairs brigade at Fort Hood under Forces Command (FORSCOM). The civil affairs soldiers, dubbed “warrior diplomats,” are highly trained in specific languages, cultures and civil affairs tactics, techniques and procedures. They may serve as a medic or diplomat, and often are the intermediary between the commander on the ground and local village representatives. They also provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance abroad.
The soldiers in the TEEX program already hold the EMT-Basic certification and know how to start IVs, said Mike Schuler, EMS Training Manager with TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute. On Feb. 1, they began the fast-track EMT-Paramedic program after completing 153 hours of online training. They will spend 280 hours in class before beginning 600 hours of clinical rotations, which will be scheduled with regional healthcare operations, such as Darnell Army Medical Center, Metroplex Health System, Harker Heights Fire Department, Killeen Fire Department and Copperas Cove Fire Department.
“This EMT-Paramedic program is normally taught in 15 weeks and students have six months to complete their clinical rotations, but the U.S. Army has requested the soldiers be prepared to take the National Registry Exam by July,” Schuler said.
Besides holding the EMT-Basic certification, the soldiers have had training in basic dentistry, Schuler added. “This advanced Paramedic training is vital because these medics may be functioning as the health care system in remote locations or in disaster situations where no physician is available. The medics may also be called on to provide basic medical care to civilians and local families during military engagement or operations.”
Schuler said the program is being conducted in cooperation with Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen, which is providing classrooms for the program.
“This TEEX class will be the benchmark for this program,” said Schuler. “There are six U.S. Army bases that have these civil affairs units, and TEEX could ultimately provide this type of training for other units as well.”