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NEWS | Aug. 19, 2019

Army Reserve Firefighter and Medical Soldiers participate in CSTX-19-04

By Spc. Joseph Black 304th Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers from across the U.S. Army Reserve participated in a combat support training exercise at Ft. McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 07 – 21. The exercise combined units from across the U.S. to include Tennessee, Kentucky, Washington, and more. 

Among those units were the 933rd and 936th Forward Resuscitation Surgical Teams. An FRST provides life-saving treatment to include triage and emergency surgery at the most forward position, said 1st Lt. Jacob Jackson, a field medical assistant with the 933rd FRST. 

Also involved in the exercise were U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 983rd Engineer Detachment, from Pascagoula, Missisipi who conducted firefighting and operation drills with Army aviators.

CSTX-19-04 is a U.S. Army Reserve training exercise that brings Multinational and U.S. Forces from across the globe to Fort McCoy, Wis., which provides realistic training aimed at honing soldier skills. CSTX ensures the U.S. Army Reserve is the most capable, combat-ready, and lethal Federal Reserve force the United States has ever seen.

“We pride ourselves on being able to rapidly set up and treat patients,” said Jackson, an executive officer with the FRST.

The FRST is the first stop for service members injured on the battlefield, and with mobile units that can be placed close to the front lines; precious time can be saved when dealing with life-threatening injuries., said Army Reserve Sgt. Brandyn Petty, a combat medic with the 933rd. 

“We are a vast 20-man team with anything from surgeons to nurses, to (certified registered nurse anesthetists), combat medics and surgical technicians,” said Petty, who recently returned from a deployment with the 933rd to Afghanistan.

Petty also explained that though they are a medical unit, they are a second-echelon facility, with the first being combat medics in the field, and the third being a field hospital where patients are transported to after they receive care at the FRST.

The firefighters meanwhile started their exercise by receiving an emergency call, followed by rehearsing search and rescue, and then practcing property-saving measures and fire suppression. They also worked with UH-60 Blackhawks to learn the proper techniques for handling a fire onboard the aircraft.

“It can wind you,” said Spc. Mikail Greene a native of Mobile, Alabama with the 983rd Engineers, “But it won't beat you up if you just got your heart into it.”

The CSTX provides an opportunity for Reserve Soldiers to receive hands-on training that they may not be able to receive during the rest of the year, said 2nd Lt. Kimberly Calhoun, a field medical assistant with the 936th FRST.

“It’s nice to have this training,” said Calhoun. “It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and talk about procedures, but it is another to actually have the patients (mock patients portrayed by live subjects).”