CAMP BULLIS, Texas –
The 848th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment or FRSD from Twinsburg, Ohio, is the first U.S. Army Reserve unit to complete the Strategic Readiness Trauma Center, or STaRC, trauma readiness course.
The 848th FRSD Soldiers trained on individual skills for two weeks in January through didactics, lectures, labs, preceptor-supervised hands-on patient care, and SIM labs before performing three days as the on-duty Trauma team for Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC). The unit then moved into the week-long field training exercise at Camp Bullis, Texas, focused on comprehensive wartime skills certification.
“The focus of this training is on life-saving interventions needed for damage control resuscitation and damage control surgery in the deployed forward surgical environment,” U.S. Army Col. (Dr.) Tyson Becker, Director at the STaRC, said. “To achieve this, every single member of the team will understand their role in trauma care, perform necessary critical procedures, and cross-train for force multiplication.”
First Lt. Adam Blanton, an ER nurse with the 848th FRSD from Grosse Ile, Mich., described the experience at STaRC as being professionally unmatched due to the real-life training elements.
With the didactic curriculum focused on surgical repair plans to the chest and abdomen, cross-training with hands-on patient care in the BAMC clinical areas, and conducting a mass casualty exercise, the program is designed to refine medical skills, stress Soldiers during performance, and mentally prepare them for deployment.
“I think this will be some of the best training I will ever receive in my career, even going forward. It’s reinforced some different types of skills you do as an individual but also as a team…. In my situation you go from working alone as a line medic to working with an FST [Forward Surgical Team] where you have all these people with advanced capabilities,” said Sgt. Jessica Andrews, a combat medic attached to the 848th FRSD from Stockbridge, Mich.
“You go out in a split-option 10-Soldier team, and you get to take casualties in an environment almost identical to what you would see in a true combat situation,” said Maj. Jeffrey Kuhn, 848th FRSD Alpha Team Leader from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Moving forward, the 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), division headquarters for the 848th FRSD, would like to rotate an FRSD from their five brigades through the STaRC training annually.
The program leverages the expertise and capabilities at BAMC, the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, the Medical Center of Excellence, the Joint Trauma System and the Air Force 59th Medical Wing, all located in San Antonio, Texas.