Army medics have been training to ensure they provide life-saving care – even under a hail of gunfire.
Combat Medical Technicians, both full-time Regulars and part-time Reservists, provide first aid to critically wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
Their training, staged at Warcop in Cumbria, was simulated with the help of smoke grenades and blank rounds. But one day the medics could be asked to do it for real, anywhere in the world.
The examination was part of a two-week training package for Lancashire-based 3 Medical Regiment, designed to test and qualify Army Medical Services’ first responders.
3 Medical Regiment provides first aid, immediate lifesaving measures, and triage on the battlefield. It is comprised of both Regular and Reserve medical support squadrons, which deploy all over the globe.
Soldiers react to enemy fire and take a tactical bound forward to cover.
The ‘care under fire’ training scenario is designed to see how medics react while attending to a casualty in the middle of a firefight.
Soldiers must locate the casualty, apply first aid and carry the injured soldier, along with their equipment, in some cases weighing over 40kgs, away from the battle while the rest of the group gives covering fire.
Other tests staged during the fortnight, examined their ability to provide patient care from tented clinics, and to treat conditions as varied as chest infections and gunshot wounds. The overall aim of the exercise has been to ensure medics are ready to deploy anywhere in the world on military operations and exercises.