February 12, 2008

Charlottesville Guard unit trains with local EMS

By Capt. Dayna Rowden
Virginia Guard Public Affairs

Spc. Roger D Corker, a combat medic with 116th BSTB trains alongside Riley M. Moore, EMT-Basic w/ Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad. (Photo by Capt. Dayna Rowden, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Soldiers from the Virginia Army National Guard's Charlie Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, headquartered in Charlottesville, and 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion conducted medical training during the Feb. 8-10 monthly drill weekend. As part of that training, Soldiers conducted ambulance ride alongs with personnel from the Charlottesville Albemarle Rescue Squad.

The training was designed to create confident, skilled medical personnel by expanding their knowledge base, as well as giving them the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units that are required to maintain their military skills proficiency standards. In addition to the ambulance ride alongs, Soldiers had the opportunity to take part in Emergency Department rotations at the University of Virginia Hospital. 

“This is a community partnership,” said Maj. Elena Scarbrough, commander of Charlie company. “As the primary military incident response force, we want to make sure we are up to speed with our civilian counterparts.” 

Much of these emergency medical practices are perishable skills. Charlie Company medical personnel constantly train to maintain certifications, like the Nationally Registry Emergency Medical Technician - Basic, and proficiency in their field. In these training situations, the unit works closely with local medical care providers, so the training being conducted helps them with their ability to interact with local medical care providers.

“When I first started as a medic, I enjoyed the camaraderie of the unit,” said Spc. Roger D. Corker, a combat medic with the 116th BSTB. “I like working around the civilians. You get to see how they do what they do.”

Charlie Company's mission is to provide medical care to all units in the 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and units that serve in their area of operations. They also provide medical training to other Soldiers in the Virginia National Guard. In 2007, they certified nearly 350 combat lifesavers.

Charlie Company consists of approximately 80 Soldiers serving as doctors, physician assistants, nurses, medics, x-ray technicians, dentists, physical therapists and psychologists. They are a highly mobile unit, prepared to rapidly respond and provide short-term medical care during critical incidents in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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