TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Medics at David Grant USAF Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base, California, are being trained monthly during a week-long course on tactical combat casualty care in an Air Force-wide initiative to standardize medical readiness training for all service members.
This standardization consolidates all TCCC training as the standard of care for first responders (medical and non-medical). It replaces trauma skills previously taught in Self-Aid Buddy Care, according to the Department of Defense Instruction 1322.24, Medical Readiness Training.
At its core, the TCCC course is about providing medical care on the battlefield, but Master Sgt. Victor Figueroa, 60th Medical Group TCCC program director, says that on top of the curriculum requirements, they’ve also incorporated a set of Medic-X skills to equip non-clinical medics better to support emergencies.
“The skills could be used both at home station if we have a pandemic, or it could be used in combat zones where we have an increase of patients that we need to take care of,” Figueroa said.
Figueroa said that the COVID-19 pandemic spurred an “all hands on deck” scenario to maximize the number of personnel available to support a mass casualty event or emergency.
To better augment such situations, Medic-X skills equip all medics with the ability to assist with activities of daily living; perform oral care; assess pain level; measure bodily intake and outputs; perform universal precautions such as the proper use of personal protective equipment and principles of infection control; assist with post-mortem care; skills involved with respiratory and skincare; the measurement of vital signs like blood pressure or pulse rate; and specimen collection like with what was seen during COVID-19 testing.
Once trained, these skills enable non-clinical Airmen to perform them autonomously, but astute clinical specialists are ready to assist when necessary.
“My experience so far with the course has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Capt. Andrew Garcia, 60th Medical Group biomedical laboratory officer. “I’ve learned a great deal of skills that are outside of my normal wheelhouse.”
“Even though I’m not a traditional 4N (aerospace medical service specialist) or traditional nurse, I feel like I can help where I need to. It’s important for all of us to be able to do that,” Garcia said.
This training ensures all medics has the ability to support all kinds of emergency situations, furthering the multi-capable Airmen proof of concept.