Army medics gain valuable civilian training through Scott & White EMS ride alongs

Out on the battlefield, Army medics are faced with life-threatening injuries and extreme trauma situations, but when they encounter a civilian with a minor illness, they might not have the training to help.

But thanks to Scott & White EMS, Fort Hood medics are now getting the opportunity to train for these everyday ailments.

“They are going out with the EMS and getting firsthand experience with medical situations,” said Staff Sergeant Johnny Thompson, Medical Special Planning Operations NCOIC with the 27th Brigade Support Battalion, First Cavalry Division. “They gain experience that they will use when they go overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Mr. Thompson’s brigade commander implemented a similar training program at Fort Campbell and thought it would be a good idea for Fort Hood to jump on board.

After getting the OK from his battalion commander, the staff sergeant contacted Scott & White to set up a time for his medics to ride along with EMS.

“There are five battalions participating in the rotations—two medics from each battalion at a time,” Mr. Thompson said. “They ride for two weeks at a time. This is on top of their other training.”

The medics ride with EMS during the night shift at Scott & White, helping out with 911 calls.

There’s just more trauma at night, Mr. Thompson said.

“Scott & White is really the only place where the medics are riding along with EMS and getting on-the-street experience,” Mr. Thompson said. “We are very thankful for Scott & White’s cooperation.”

Steven Von Gonten, EMT-P, the clinical manager coordinating the rotations said the ambulance ride alongs have been a good experience for both the medics and the EMTs.

“I hope this builds a bridge for training opportunities,” Mr. Von Gonten said. “I feel it is going great out there. I do hope the soldiers are getting all the experience they need for whatever they encounter in the future.”

According to Mr. Thompson, the soldiers have been gaining valuable training.

“The soldiers are really excited about what they’ve been able to experience,” he said. “We want to make this an ongoing training technique so our medics can be fully trained and constantly learning.”

About the author

Jessa McClure
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Jessa McClure holds a degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX, where she is currently an adviser for student publications. She has been a writer in the health care field since 2009.

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Army medics gain valuable civilian training through Scott & White EMS ride alongs