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Joint Task Force-Bravo provides life support training for local firefighters

U.S. Army Specialist Lourdes Tarin, an emergency medical technician assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo, instructs Honduran firefighters on the proper care for a victim as part of a basic life support class conducted at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Oct. 23, 2013.  Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) trained 19 local firefighters in basic life support skills.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Zach Anderson)

U.S. Army Specialist Lourdes Tarin, an emergency medical technician assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo, instructs Honduran firefighters on the proper care for a victim as part of a basic life support class conducted at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Oct. 23, 2013. Members of Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) trained 19 local firefighters in basic life support skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Zach Anderson)

SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL) provided life-saving skills training to local Honduran firefighters, Oct. 22-23.

The MEDEL trained 19 firefighters from the cities of Comayagua, La Paz, La Esperanza, and Siguatepeque. The training consisted of basic first aid skills, such as hemorrhage control, bandage application, treating different types of burns, as well as lacerations, abrasions and cuts. The MEDEL members also taught the firefighters different methods of evacuating and assessing a patient.

"It is a modified basic life support class," said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Darlene Hershman, a combat medic/LPN assigned to MEDEL. "A lot of the resources we have in the United States for training, they don't have. So through a class like this, we can work with them to increase their knowledge of medical care, and then they can pass on what they have learned to others."

During the final portion of the class, the firefighters had to quickly attend to individuals who were playing the role of "victims." The firefighters had to provide immediate care to the victim, and then evacuate them to a triage area.

"We are trying to get them prepared for anything they might encounter on the job," said U.S. Army Spc. Lourdes Tarin, an emergency medical technician assigned to MEDEL. "We are working with them to help increase their skills so that when they do encounter a situation, they will be prepared and confident and can use what they have learned to save a life, or multiple lives."

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