Twenty soldiers in the 85th Civil Affairs Brigade at Fort Hood have graduated from a special EMT-Paramedic program offered by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) and conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Army III Corps and Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen.
The 1,033-hour program was a combination of 153 hours of eLearning, 280 hours of classroom training and 600 hours of clinical rotations designed to prepare the soldiers for testing at the EMT-Paramedic level exam through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT). They will take the national exam within the next few weeks, said Mike Schuler, EMS Training Manager with TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute.
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 also provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance abroad.
“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,” Schuler said. “The medics may also be called on to provide basic medical care to civilians and local families during military engagement or operations.” The graduates also hold the EMT-Basic certification, and have had training in basic dentistry, he added.
“This class was a benchmark for this new program for the military,” said Schuler. “TEEX could ultimately provide this type of training for other military civil affairs units as well.”