Soldiers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, conducted a CPR instructor training course Oct. 18 to certify 10 new instructors.
One of the purposes of conducting this training was to allow the 1st BCT medics to stay current in their Emergency Medical Technician certifications. The course also enabled the unit’s medics who attended to keep up to date in their military occupational specialty requirements, whether they are scheduled to deploy or will be back at Fort Campbell on Rear Detachment.
“The intent is to have two instructors from each unit within the 1st BCT, one forward and one on Rear Detachment, so that all of our medics are taken care of,” said Staff Sgt. Robert F. Ward, combat medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment.
“This training is done in partnership with Blanchfield Army Community Hospital’s Education and Staff Development,” Ward said.
“The instructors are actually an extension of the training center. Once certified, the ESD has allowed us to be affiliated with their training center and to conduct this training. They have enabled us to be self sustained. The course material is centered on the American Heart Association guidelines.”
Previously, Ward said, the brigade only had had a couple of instructors at any given time, which meant they had to send the Soldiers down to ESD to get the training they needed.
“This training helps us take care of our Soldiers and alleviates overloading ESD, because ESD is also responsible for all of the Medical Department Activity Soldiers and providers,” said Ward.
In order to be selected to become a CPR instructor, the Soldier had to score a 90 percent or above on the American Heart Association’s written exam. In addition, each instructor candidate had to be evaluated on their hands-on skills and perform them to AHA’s standard.
“Soldiers can also be identified during a CPR class as having instructor potential,” said Ward. “If they are identified as an IP, they can attend a CPR Instructor Course if they want to.”
The 10 selectees, all of whom were hand picked by their unit to attend, along with one registered nurse, successfully completed the seven-hour course. For the 1st BCT, that means having more flexibility when it comes to getting as many Soldiers certified as possible.
“I am always glad to see when units have the skillset and ability to take care of their own medics, as well as having the ease of accomplishing the training without having to compete with other unit training because they had to resource outside of their unit,” Ward said.
“The way ahead is to start with this CPR instructor course so that each unit within the brigade has the ability to certify CPR to their own medics in accordance with the AHA guidelines. Now that we are reaching that goal, our next goal will be to ensure medics and providers within the brigade keep from falling out of tolerance. This task will now be accomplished more efficiently with each unit having the autonomy to certify their own medics and providers on CPR.”
Sergeant Randall Holland, combat medic, 2nd Battalion, 327th Field Artillery Regiment, enjoyed the course and said he looks forward to the opportunity to instruct others throughout the brigade.
“This was one of the best classes I have taken,” said Holland. “It was taught very well.”
So far, the brigade has certified 13 instructors. Plans to continue CPR instructor training are ongoing.