By Debbie Gregory.
The Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), located at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston is home to the Joint Emergency Medical Technician Sustainment Training (JEST) program. The JEST program is responsible for delivering refresher Emergency Medical training to more than 550 Army and Air Force personnel each year, through a combination of classroom instruction and field training.
Through the JEST program, healthcare specialists and medical service techs from both branches train together to meet the annual training requirements, established by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians and the Department of Transportation for EMTs. As part of the service members’ occupational functions for their MOS’s, the sustainment training also meets respective Army and Air Force regulations.
This one of a kind joint training operation offers benefits to personnel from both branches. It promotes inter-branch camaraderie, as well as the sharing of educational information. It also provides service members with 48 college credit hours for the training.
The JEST training is five days of instruction and hands-on classroom exercises at BAMC, followed by one day of field validation at nearby Camp Bullis.
At Camp Bullis, the service members are divided into teams of either four or five members. Each team must move tactically through a wooded area, while encountering simulated artillery fire. Once the team reaches the casualties, they must provide tactical field care, call for an evacuation, move the casualties to a safe evacuation site, and brief the ambulance team on the status of each patient. The goal of the exercise is to utilize the “golden hour of care,” where all of the above is completed and the patient gets delivered to definitive care within an hour. Following the exercise, instructors brief the students on how they performed.
Graduates of the JEST program hail it as great training for both branches, and vital to success of their mission as lifesavers when they are deployed.
“The benefit of training jointly is that the different forces will always be on the same page, train on the same equipment and follow the same procedures when we are in a combat zone in theater,” said Army Staff Sgt. Juan Leyva, graduate of the JEST course.
Versions of the joint EMT training have been conducted at BAMC since August, 2013. The leaders of BAMC and the JEST program would love to see their curriculum serve as a model for other programs across the U.S. military.
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Military Connection: Joint Army-Air Force EMT Training: By Debbie Gregory